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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#101 The Big Dummy
November 04 2013, 10:59PM
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6 ring circus wrote:

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.

I'd be surprised if Katz watches the games. He lives in Vancouver, his kids go to school there, and he doesn't need to pay attention to this side of his business because sucker fans (myself included) fill out the building every game. For almost a decade of horrible hockey, the attendance hasn't slipped once. This team will never recover with Katz as owner. He made his millions through pharmaceuticals, a business which, imo, is full of deceit and preying on the weak, and he'll continue to make millions by doing the same thing to us diehard fans. I've thought about leaving this team already this season too. But I couldn't even if I truly wanted to.

Moving forward, MacT should takeover the head coaching position while retaining his duties as GM. He obviously can't get rid of the assistant coaches. It worked well enough for Bryan Murray in Ottawa and for Sutter in Calgary when they went to the Finals in 07 & 04, respectively. Obviously it won't do much now but if MacT ever wants to address the plethora of ailments on this roster and in this locker room, it's time to get his hands dirty.

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#102 madjam
November 04 2013, 11:04PM
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We should have seen the writing on the wall when Howson and MacT. gave their inspirational speeches to last years team after Tams release , and subsequently they went into the toilet to finish off season ? Their fall guy appears to have been Kreuger . Results prove their worth as well as coaches who have managed to make results worse with apparently a better personnel - there is no way around that . " Ain't no doubt , let it all hang out ".

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#103 sizzay
November 04 2013, 11:05PM
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DSF wrote:

The Rangers interested in Yakupov (and Hemsky).

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

I don't see any deal sending Yakupov to the Rangers without McDonagh as the centrepiece coming back.

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#104 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
November 04 2013, 11:10PM
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PutzStew wrote:

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.

I agree with you but the tangible changes on the ice may take a while.

Maybe it won't.

This team is so disfunctional who knows what would happen. I just know that they have lied to us so often that any credibility this organization had is gone.

Maybe they should give George Burnett a 2nd chance now?

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#105 Oilerz4life
November 04 2013, 11:13PM
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At least the team in the 90's had heart. They may not have had the best team but you knew they would fight hard and could make the playoffs with no name players who at least had heart. These flashy no heart talented players make me sick to my stomach. Smytty, Weight and Guerrin in their prime would plaster this current Oiler team into the boards, dig the puck out of the corners and snipe it (or plug in some ugly goals too). This flashy no finish team makes me want to puke.

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#106 blue31
November 04 2013, 11:14PM
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My biggest beef is with the stupid NHL draft system. You have to hit rock bottom with a roster full of slugs in order to land the big fish. It's a long way up from there.

First overall pick should go to the team finishing 17th in the league. Second pick should go to the 18th, etc.

This would give the bottom teams an achievable goal of moving up two or three spots in the standings each year, and getting a higher draft pick each time they do it. Winning would mean something, even for teams out of the hunt early. Calgary's reward for consistently icing a better team than the Oilers is to be stuck in mediocrity purgatory.

As it is now, it's in the Oilers best interest to do nothing, trade no-one, fire nobody, and go all-in for a lottery pick again. Losing becomes winning.

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#107 Oilforlife
November 04 2013, 11:15PM
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Here is a solution.

Katz convinces K Lowe to step down and leave the organization. Because Katz has such a yearning for the company of the Glory boys, bring in Gretzky as the new President. I know many of you will laugh at this, but think about the benefits. Wayne would bring instant positive recognition to the team. He is considered one of the most respected men in hockey even to this day. When he talks everyone listens. Justin Shultz did. Do you you think K Lowe could have swayed Shultz on his own. It took both Coffey and Gretzky to do it. Plus with his success with Team Canada in the past, he has proven he can put together the best team for the right situation. With Wayne on the phones with Mac T, you can bet your ass the rest of the league would give him the time and respect to listen and make offers. Plus if your a free agent, who would you rather get a call from, Gretzky or the Six Ring idiot K Lowe.

Either way, Katz has shown he will only have the Boys on the Bus under him no matter what the fans say, so why not get the right one, cause it truly can't get any worse

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#108 BleedOil4Life
November 04 2013, 11:21PM
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@DSF

The only way he bungled that was by not putting out feelers sooner that he was Available so we could have got a bigger return.

If you think signing him long term would have helped us... You are wrong. Ryan Smyth wanted way too much cash and if you look at where he went he did not help teams at all. It was smart to deal him because he is not a guy you give into when he demands money....he never did enough to do deserve over 5 mil from this team.

But I will says dsf in the time I have been on this website you have been very blunt and true to your word of who should go so I do respect that

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#109 Brett York
November 04 2013, 11:29PM
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Oilforlife wrote:

Here is a solution.

Katz convinces K Lowe to step down and leave the organization. Because Katz has such a yearning for the company of the Glory boys, bring in Gretzky as the new President. I know many of you will laugh at this, but think about the benefits. Wayne would bring instant positive recognition to the team. He is considered one of the most respected men in hockey even to this day. When he talks everyone listens. Justin Shultz did. Do you you think K Lowe could have swayed Shultz on his own. It took both Coffey and Gretzky to do it. Plus with his success with Team Canada in the past, he has proven he can put together the best team for the right situation. With Wayne on the phones with Mac T, you can bet your ass the rest of the league would give him the time and respect to listen and make offers. Plus if your a free agent, who would you rather get a call from, Gretzky or the Six Ring idiot K Lowe.

Either way, Katz has shown he will only have the Boys on the Bus under him no matter what the fans say, so why not get the right one, cause it truly can't get any worse

Don't you remember, KATZ BURNED HIS BRIDGE WITH WAYNE!!!! Recall the bogus trip to Seattle when he tricked wayne to come as a "fun game with old buddies", yes the old oiler crew was there eating popcorn and wayne realized mid game that Katz used the Great ONe as a pawn in his game to THREATEN the City of Edmonton and the loyal fans of the Edmonton Oilers with RELOCATION if we did not bow down and kiss his feet and give him a sweetheart deal for the new arena.

Wayne is also a thoughtful and loyal guy, he would not get in the middle of a situation where K Lowe was on the way out and come on in , he would feel guilty to "replace: K Lowe, he has way too much class to get involved with Katz.

Perhaps things would be much different if the Oilers Ownership group would have retained control, maybe a Gretzky would get involved with the group who saved the team from relocation and had at heart the best thing for the city and the fans, Katz's agenda is not a pure "love of the game", or "love of the team", or "love of the Oilers" , it is more of a minor hobby or a side business he can dabble in and get his curly haired kid on stage at the draft once a year for a photo op.

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#110 FIREEAKINS
November 04 2013, 11:56PM
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@sizzay

Dan Girardi is a solid top 4 defenseman as well. He'd be a number 1 guy on Edmonton's roster. Girardi and a 1st for Yakupov, I'd take it. This team NEEDS defense. Yaks gonna run away to the KHL like all the other money hungry Russians anyways.

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#111 KATZISABUM
November 05 2013, 12:01AM
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Brett York wrote:

Don't you remember, KATZ BURNED HIS BRIDGE WITH WAYNE!!!! Recall the bogus trip to Seattle when he tricked wayne to come as a "fun game with old buddies", yes the old oiler crew was there eating popcorn and wayne realized mid game that Katz used the Great ONe as a pawn in his game to THREATEN the City of Edmonton and the loyal fans of the Edmonton Oilers with RELOCATION if we did not bow down and kiss his feet and give him a sweetheart deal for the new arena.

Wayne is also a thoughtful and loyal guy, he would not get in the middle of a situation where K Lowe was on the way out and come on in , he would feel guilty to "replace: K Lowe, he has way too much class to get involved with Katz.

Perhaps things would be much different if the Oilers Ownership group would have retained control, maybe a Gretzky would get involved with the group who saved the team from relocation and had at heart the best thing for the city and the fans, Katz's agenda is not a pure "love of the game", or "love of the team", or "love of the Oilers" , it is more of a minor hobby or a side business he can dabble in and get his curly haired kid on stage at the draft once a year for a photo op.

Katz is greedy

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#112 Alsker
November 05 2013, 12:08AM
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If Katz is so hung up with former Oilers replace kBlowe with either Al Hamilton(providing he wants to give up his place in Sherwood Park) or Messier(providing he comes in with Slats' attitude and his dads standards). Either would be a huge step in the right direction(hell Coffey,Semenko Lumley all live here and would at the very least bring a new vision and a honest view of this team). Man to have Sammy staring down at you and asking "WTF was that" would put all of our megamillion boys in their place.

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#113 Pouzar99
November 05 2013, 12:18AM
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A great lede and the most balanced and fair assessment of the situation I have read anywhere, Robin. Congratulations. You really hit all the key points of concern without pretending to have a magic solution to a many-faceted problem.

Yes, I am sure the Oilers are better than their record indicates. The schedule, the injuries, the terrible goaltending, the difficulty of adjustment to a new system and a new coach are all factors, but the chaos on the ice and the lack of hunger and commitment by the players simply can't be ignored.

The rebuild is a bust at the moment but the good news is we have assets that can be used to transform the team, The bad news, as Robin notes, is that it is highly unlikely any GM will offer fair value at the moment. The lads are going to have to turn things around on the ice to at least some extent before anything like that is possible.

Even with the injuries the Oilers have enough talent to do much better, although there is zero chance of making the playoffs. Frankly, I think Eakins has struggled too, but if he can get the players to play a structured game, cut down on their mistakes and jack up their compete level they could be a fairly good team by the second half of the season. I am not sure he, or anyone else, can do that however. I am not sure this bunch has that in them.

Again I thank Robin for his excellent summation of the state of the Oilers, as painful as it is to swallow. I am certainly not looking forward to attending the next home game against Dallas, but if it is anything like the past four I think things could start getting really, really ugly. If there was ever a time for this bunch to show some character, this is surely it. The problem is you can't show it if you don't have it and I'm not sure that collectively they do.

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#114 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
November 05 2013, 12:20AM
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FIREEAKINS wrote:

Dan Girardi is a solid top 4 defenseman as well. He'd be a number 1 guy on Edmonton's roster. Girardi and a 1st for Yakupov, I'd take it. This team NEEDS defense. Yaks gonna run away to the KHL like all the other money hungry Russians anyways.

Girardi is a UFA in a few months. Why give up anything for a rental? This team needs a Shea Weber type, not yet another 4-7 guy. Swapping a first overall selection for middling/late first rounder makes zero sense.

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#115 Nimrod
November 05 2013, 12:29AM
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Claiming that wanting to remove Lowe is wanting a pound of flesh is disingenuous. He should be removed because in the dozen years he's been GM/president the team has gone nowhere. They limped into the playoffs a few times and had a Cinderella run one year. He's milked that run for too long.

He should be removed because the position he has is an important one and he has been an arrogant utter failure. Get someone who has no connection to the 80's Oilers. Get someone who is smart enough to draw the roadmap for an organization that wants to win the Stanley Cup.

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#116 Dog Train
November 05 2013, 12:31AM
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After the crap that Oilers fans were subjected to on Saturday, I want to see us call up or sign some guys who are looking to crack an NHL job. I don't care if our talent level goes down, I don't want to see a team lay down and die without so much as trying to look like they give a damn.

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#117 Alsker
November 05 2013, 12:33AM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Girardi is a UFA in a few months. Why give up anything for a rental? This team needs a Shea Weber type, not yet another 4-7 guy. Swapping a first overall selection for middling/late first rounder makes zero sense.

Hang on there QSB, that type of honesty is not acceptable in Oil Country. Kills me to see the names on the cup at the home page:Hunter,Hughes,Jackson,Linseman yes a #1 D man would be great, but a few tough SOB's with more heart than ability would really be nice too.

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#118 Douglas
November 05 2013, 12:37AM
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I like this article. It's honest and heartfelt. What else can we do right now other than see things for what they really are and hope that some sort of positive can come out of this? We stay or we go. Maybe we never care again like we have the last 7 or more years. Maybe we just need an emotional vacation so we can come back with fresh enthusiasm. Hockey is a beautiful game. Business turns things like this into profit and we pay the price of the compromise. I'm tired of ego-riddled conversations at work where subjectivity is thrown around passionately as fact. Actually no, I should clarify: I don't enjoy it when all the conversation is negative and all we seem to be doing is trying to more correctly assign blame in a situation we have basically no control over. Perhaps times like these are there to remind us it's just a game. I feel for all of those who have to make a living solving or documenting this situation because they have to care. Wanye's article was a testament to someone trying to ease the burden of those who come back to this website for something or someone to make them feel like they aren't going crazy alone. We care. And this is a good place to say it. 140 characters can't come close and Twitter is generally best suited for irony and sarcasm. Facebook is like trying to be heard in an arena full of parroted contrarian opinions. Thanks for the articles, Robin, Wanye, and all of you at the nation. Thank you for OilersNation for being here. I feel a bit better now.

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#119 Trent
November 05 2013, 12:56AM
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Excellent article. Of course the advice you offer to MacT is exactly what Tambi did for the past number of years and got criticized for, maybe even by you.

No ex-Oiler should replace Lowe. How about we do a legitimate search and overpay for someone competent to take the job?

Off topic, is Rocky Thompson the best guy out there to help develop talent in OKC? Just saying.

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#120 MyTwoCents
November 05 2013, 01:03AM
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Yakupov, Hemsky, Dubnyk and a 2nd for Price and Subban. Gagner for Ott+3rd. Klefbom +3rd for M. Staal. 1st for Sean Couturier. Just an example of the many possibilities... if our GM would get off his @$$

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#121 BleedOil4Life
November 05 2013, 01:07AM
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@MyTwoCents

when are people going to learn this is not nhl 13 for the ps3

we are in 2nd last. teams will not give us whatever we want for our players...they know we are struggling....they know we want to make changes...its not that simple

but your deals would be amazing lol

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#122 MFDcap10
November 05 2013, 04:43AM
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@Shifty203

Do the fans want to make a bold move? I challenge each and every ticket holder to collectively stay home for one game. The players will feel the eerie empty building. Management will feel it. Ownership will feel it and it will make nationwide headlines. It's time to show the true power of the fans.

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#123 Rheal1
November 05 2013, 04:58AM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Girardi is a UFA in a few months. Why give up anything for a rental? This team needs a Shea Weber type, not yet another 4-7 guy. Swapping a first overall selection for middling/late first rounder makes zero sense.

Say that - hypothetically - and against the advice of his agent, Weber agrees to come to Edmonton. His stats would go down, his +/- would definitely go down and he would get injured. And Seth Jones would be pissed as hell of losing his mentor in Nashville. Only a very down and out player would ever come to Deadmonton. And not to revive his career! More like cashing a last cheque. Remember Adam Oates? NHL stars such as PK Subban, Chara, Ovechkin, Bergeron or Doughty would never come to Deadmonton. Maybe Tanguay in another 3 or 4 years or Ray Whitney next year... Get used to it. Even Dany "flash in the pan" Heatley felt nauseated when the prospect of wearing a copper & blue jersey came up in his mind.

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#124 spliff
November 05 2013, 05:49AM
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KATZISABUM wrote:

Katz is greedy

How was this post allowed?

Isn't someone moderating these posts?

There is no need for racist sh*t on this blog FFS.

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#125 a lg dubl dubl
November 05 2013, 06:06AM
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Ive been interested in montreal's situation with Subban and Markov becoming RFA and UFA respectfully. Subban will want 6-7mil and Markov will ask for 5-6mil, can they really afford both?

I know Subban is the #1dman there, and the fans would probably riot, but if I was gm of a last place hockey club Id send them this

Yak,1st rnd pick,Smid, and maricin

Overpay? yup! getting that true #1 dman pricless

its a nice dream I know, but its time for MacT to get creative for this team to succeed, and please don't keep the draft pick like Dithers.

That is all, good day people!

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#126 Fresh Mess
November 05 2013, 06:10AM
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I have a revolutionary idea. Katz should create a Board of Directors of Hockey operations. That way he can bring in Gretzky, Messier, Coffey, Anderson, Fuhr, Kurri etc.

The Lord of the Rings(Lowe) can be promoted to Chairman.

MacT can be "promoted" to President of Hockey Ops.

This way Katz can have all the old boys on the payroll and pretending to be his friend.

Think of all the economic spinoffs this would create. Think of the world class image the city would gain.

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#127 nW04life
November 05 2013, 06:11AM
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DSF wrote:

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.

Let's not forget about Lowe asking Comrie to return cash on his way out the door to Anaheim.

We ended up getting Woywitka and picks instead of Cory Perry.

http://proicehockey.about.com/cs/nhlnotebook/a/comrie_trade.htm

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#128 Fresh Mess
November 05 2013, 06:13AM
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spliff wrote:

How was this post allowed?

Isn't someone moderating these posts?

There is no need for racist sh*t on this blog FFS.

And you just gave it extra exposure while displaying your piety for all to see.

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#129 MattOcean
November 05 2013, 06:19AM
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One of the best blogs I've read on the Oilers in a long time!

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#130 spliff
November 05 2013, 06:26AM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

And you just gave it extra exposure while displaying your piety for all to see.

Displaying my piety for all to see? WTF?

I like trashing Katz and management as much as anyone else, because they deserve it for their sh*t performance. However, I don't like reading racist comments which are vile and unnecessary and hopefully will not be allowed to continue on this great Oilers blog.

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#131 Fatbob24
November 05 2013, 06:31AM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

Ive been interested in montreal's situation with Subban and Markov becoming RFA and UFA respectfully. Subban will want 6-7mil and Markov will ask for 5-6mil, can they really afford both?

I know Subban is the #1dman there, and the fans would probably riot, but if I was gm of a last place hockey club Id send them this

Yak,1st rnd pick,Smid, and maricin

Overpay? yup! getting that true #1 dman pricless

its a nice dream I know, but its time for MacT to get creative for this team to succeed, and please don't keep the draft pick like Dithers.

That is all, good day people!

Subban is not all that right now. Sure he won a Norris, for scoring the most goals. Didn't have anything to do with his defensive skills which is what we really need right now. But he does have grit and attitude, so...toss up.

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#132 book¡e
November 05 2013, 06:35AM
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KATZISABUM wrote:

Katz is greedy

It's 2013, please leave your ignorance at the door. If you can't do that, then don't bother commenting.

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#133 Johnny
November 05 2013, 06:38AM
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When are we going to hear the true story about Perron's injury?

I am worried about his career...

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#134 book¡e
November 05 2013, 06:39AM
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spliff wrote:

How was this post allowed?

Isn't someone moderating these posts?

There is no need for racist sh*t on this blog FFS.

I don't think posts are moderated before posting. It was a 12am posting and RB probably hasn't seen it yet. I find the 8 props alarming.

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#135 Fresh Mess
November 05 2013, 06:44AM
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book¡e wrote:

I don't think posts are moderated before posting. It was a 12am posting and RB probably hasn't seen it yet. I find the 8 props alarming.

Better to ignore it than promote it with more attention. ON should really have a flag button for those instances.

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#136 Loweblows
November 05 2013, 07:01AM
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Oilers will make the playoffs-oops reset the bar-Oilers will win a game-oops reset the bar-Oilers will compete-oops reset the bar-Oilers will score a goal-oops reset the bar. A snail just hit his head on the bar.

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#137 Loweblows
November 05 2013, 07:07AM
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To the poster who brought race into the discussion and the people that support that comment-please return all your oiler merchandise and go cheer for another team-you are disgusting and she be ashamed- i am sure you plan on posting your name since you are such a man!

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#139 spliff
November 05 2013, 07:15AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Just saw the "Katz is greedy . . ." post. Ignorance has been edited out.

Thanks Robin

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#140 oilabroad
November 05 2013, 07:22AM
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I agree with most of what I am reading in the comments but lets just play devils advocate here for a minute... we have all heard that Katz has direct input into the hockey ops (keeping bucky, drafting yak etc), how do you turn around and fire a guy (ie Lowe), when you are the one over riding all of managements decisions?? Maybe the problem is not Lowe, maybe its Katz.

Someone on here nailed it earlier when they said Katz would never run his other businesses this way, nepotism does not make you money, nor does over riding the decisions of the 'experts' you hire to make those decisions.

Point being, for all we know afro boy is running daddys team, so firing all these guys might sound good on paper, but the problems could be much deeper than we think... my 2 cents

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#141 book¡e
November 05 2013, 07:35AM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

Better to ignore it than promote it with more attention. ON should really have a flag button for those instances.

I disagree, I think these are important discussions to have. The initial commenter probably mostly engages people who think comments like that are appropriate. The feedback from a diversity of individuals helps people understand that others consider it in appropriate.

Back to Oilers.

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#142 the-wolf
November 05 2013, 07:56AM
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Flames fan perspective: hire Feaster, he's perfect at adding complementary vets and 3rd/4th line types. I may be slightly jesting here, but seriously, where are the Oilers when it comes to acquiring the Ramos and Berras and Corban Knights and Joe Colbornes of the world?

Not saying that those guys in particular are some sort of franchise-saving solution, far from it, but the Oilers just never seem to be in on adding complementary type players, whether they be from Europe, college or vets.

I don't think the Oilers are as bad as almost everyone on here thinks, though I understand the anger and frustration.

First, you guys are too hard on those young players. They need vets to show them how to be professionals. I don't think they like losing; you don't grow up and ascend to that level of hockey by being content and having a love of losing.

The Oilers seem like an org paralyzed by fear. Scared to death that if they move one of their 1st overalls it will come back to bite them for decades. But you know what, that's what GMs get paid for. Moving one of those 1st overalls would send one heck of a message too, wouldn't it? And if you're getting quality back, which shouldn't be all that hard to do, then do it.

Next, the Oilers still have a good crop of top prospects. Move most of them and move a couple of first round picks and bring in some quality vets, especially on D.

MacT was right about bold moves, not sure if he's the one to make them, but he was right. A bonafide #1 goalie alone would make a world of difference to the team. Move Yakupov, some prospects and some 1st rounders and the Oilers would be back into contention all while maintaining an extremely talented young core. People have to remember though - Nuge, Eberle, Schultz, etc. are NOT Gretzky, Messier, Coffee, etc. But, they're still very, very good.

I hate to throw out another Calgary name, but firing Lowe and hiring Burke (or even better, Jim Nill had he agreed to go there) before we got him would have been a solid thing to do IMO. So, fear not, an astute GM could turn the Oiles fortunes around in just a half season.

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#143 Ed in Edmonton
November 05 2013, 09:06AM
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the-wolf wrote:

Flames fan perspective: hire Feaster, he's perfect at adding complementary vets and 3rd/4th line types. I may be slightly jesting here, but seriously, where are the Oilers when it comes to acquiring the Ramos and Berras and Corban Knights and Joe Colbornes of the world?

Not saying that those guys in particular are some sort of franchise-saving solution, far from it, but the Oilers just never seem to be in on adding complementary type players, whether they be from Europe, college or vets.

I don't think the Oilers are as bad as almost everyone on here thinks, though I understand the anger and frustration.

First, you guys are too hard on those young players. They need vets to show them how to be professionals. I don't think they like losing; you don't grow up and ascend to that level of hockey by being content and having a love of losing.

The Oilers seem like an org paralyzed by fear. Scared to death that if they move one of their 1st overalls it will come back to bite them for decades. But you know what, that's what GMs get paid for. Moving one of those 1st overalls would send one heck of a message too, wouldn't it? And if you're getting quality back, which shouldn't be all that hard to do, then do it.

Next, the Oilers still have a good crop of top prospects. Move most of them and move a couple of first round picks and bring in some quality vets, especially on D.

MacT was right about bold moves, not sure if he's the one to make them, but he was right. A bonafide #1 goalie alone would make a world of difference to the team. Move Yakupov, some prospects and some 1st rounders and the Oilers would be back into contention all while maintaining an extremely talented young core. People have to remember though - Nuge, Eberle, Schultz, etc. are NOT Gretzky, Messier, Coffee, etc. But, they're still very, very good.

I hate to throw out another Calgary name, but firing Lowe and hiring Burke (or even better, Jim Nill had he agreed to go there) before we got him would have been a solid thing to do IMO. So, fear not, an astute GM could turn the Oiles fortunes around in just a half season.

It's refreshing to see an unemotional evaluation of the Oil's problems. Especially from a Flamer who isn't just giddy and dancing on the grave in early Nov.

Re a few points you make

I don't think the Oil have not been interested in complimentary players. However the ones they have brought in have either:

not been effective eg. Eager, Belanger, Petrell etc. Poor judgement of player's abilities by the brain trust;

working out okay (the exeption) Arcabello, Belov ;

a disaster i.e. Grebeshkov; or

injured Joensuu, Hamilton and Pitlick.

I agree that there is a fear in our town about moving a young gun and not getting full value for them. Any rational analysis of the Oil results in the conclusion, that even if everyone turns out well, moves will be inevitable. No team would be able to afford a succession of high end picks all playing well and demanding salaries in accordance. The fear is not just with Oil management but with the fan base and perhaps most of all with the media.

When the Oil move a young gun, the question that needs to be asked is not whether the young gun might go on to be a super star somewhere else, but if what the Oil are getting back is of enough value to them and whether it makes them better.

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#144 Mike Wazowski
November 05 2013, 09:13AM
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I'm as frustrated as any Oiler fan but sweet jeebuz, admit that wanting Lowe fired is more about looking for a pound of flesh and appeasing a frustrated fanbase than actually positively affecting the on-ice product.

Seriously, nobody outside the organization actually knows what affect Lowe has on making trades and personnel choices. The same fans who call MacT arrogant also believe that Lowe is the 'hidden puppet master' behind the scenes. If MacT was so arrogant, do you really think he'd let Lowe make all the decisions?!?

Along those lines...

Katz is a 'fanboy'! Yet he also doesn't care about the team!

Eakins is an egomaniac! But he'd also let the ownership group tell him what to do as far as assistants!

Every so-called Oiler fan who comes on here and calls my home 'deadmonton' and calls the Oilers a joke can go find another frackin team to cheer for!

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#145 outdoorzguy
November 05 2013, 09:52AM
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It's game night!! Everybody put on your jersey (that put $$$ in the pocket of Katz) and head to the game to fill the building again. Your hope is that after a dozen or so years of mediocrity things will miraculously turn around tonight. A win will sure change the attitude of the fans. What a great team we have, things are heading down the right path now with a win. We might win, more realistically we'll lose.But keep going to the games and buying the jerseys because sooner or later things will get better and we all want to be on that band wagon when it happens. But this is a bad team. It's not capable of doing anything even resembling success as this team. It's poorly managed. The ownership is absent. As long as the Katz pockets fill up with our hard money nothing will change. Its been like that for a decade. But maybe tonight. Maybe. This could be the night we become great. But if it doesn't happen, just leave the building like lemmings and hope for the next game to be that magical moment. Sooner or later it will happen. Won't it??

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#146 Rob...
November 05 2013, 09:59AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Just saw the "Katz is greedy . . ." post. Ignorance has been edited out.

I'd appreciate it if you edited it further, in the same manner you'd edit a 'fist' comment, Robin. Something to the effect of: "Katz is greedy... and I'm a goose stepping anti-Semite" if the original comment was anything like I now assume it was.

Coming late to the party it now just looks like a fairly innocent comment that only the most super-sensitive person could attribute to racism.

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#147 Tikkanese
November 05 2013, 10:26AM
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spliff wrote:

How was this post allowed?

Isn't someone moderating these posts?

There is no need for racist sh*t on this blog FFS.

Was there more to it than those 3 words? Those 3 words alone are not racist, are they?

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#148 Zarny
November 05 2013, 10:42AM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Girardi is a UFA in a few months. Why give up anything for a rental? This team needs a Shea Weber type, not yet another 4-7 guy. Swapping a first overall selection for middling/late first rounder makes zero sense.

I completely agree a Shea Weber type would be ideal.

The problem is Weber isn't available. None of those D are available because every team that has one is looking to win the Stanley Cup not rebuild.

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#149 vetinari
November 05 2013, 11:02AM
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MyTwoCents wrote:

Yakupov, Hemsky, Dubnyk and a 2nd for Price and Subban. Gagner for Ott+3rd. Klefbom +3rd for M. Staal. 1st for Sean Couturier. Just an example of the many possibilities... if our GM would get off his @$$

If you think that those are all reasonable deals for both sides, we'll wait right here while you call up the GMs for those teams, pitch those deals and see what their responses are...

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#150 Rama Lama
November 05 2013, 11:09AM
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I have been one of the most vocal opponents to Eakins system.......not for any measure except one.

Have any players flourished under his leadership? Any? Have any players regressed under his leadership? I would contend every player including his spokeperson Andrew Ference.

I understand that he is only 15 games into the season, but if there was even one player that looks like they are off and running, I would cut him some slack. I personally like his style and swagger but I hold him most accountable for running the bench.

If we start all of a sudden winning and can sustain a game from start to finish, then I will think his systems are worth pursuing.

Right now I only see a team that stopped playing for him. Sports can be a brutal game.

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