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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#1 Greg
November 04 2013, 07:41PM
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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"

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#2 Daryl
November 04 2013, 07:27PM
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Your right firing Lowe won't change things in the short-run, but it would show Edmonton is serious about making a change for the better.

I think most posters on this site could have done as badly as Kevin Lowe has done in his management position.

Last time I checked these people are suppose to be professionals and have more experience and knowledge. Kevin Lowe is a fraud and a hack. The sooner he leaves the better.

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#3 6 ring circus
November 04 2013, 07:27PM
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Awesome heading to this article "The Six Ring Circus" unfortunately it is very appropriate for what is happening in Oilerland these days.

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#4 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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#5 DSF
November 04 2013, 09:03PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

If the old boys club includes Lowe, MacTavish, Acton, Buchberger and Smith, you gut it and start over with Eakins and who?

That's a lot of positions to fill with qualified people during the off-season, let alone during the season. You can't do that, as much as some people are calling for it, in one fell swoop. Not realistic.

You start at the top.

Get a Hockey Ops manager who knows what he is doing and has a track record for doing so and then let him make the decisions with no regard for past glories or friendships.

Let him take the time to assess the job performance of his GM, the head coach and assistants and then decide if their record is positive or negative.

If negative, wave goodbye to the GM, find a new one and let him rebuild the organization from scratch.

I would think, if a guy like Brian Burke was in charge, that MacT, Howson, Olczyk, Eakins, Buchberger, Smith and Acton would be on very short leashes.

None of these guys have ever won anything in a management role.

While Burke is no longer an option, I can't imagine it would be difficult for Katz with his resources, to lure the best of the best to run the Oilers hockey ops.

I think the Oilers missed a huge opportunity when they let Dallas hire Jim Nill, instead opting for a reprise with MacT who failed as a coach and then let him, with ZERO track record as a manager, set out to resurrect the fortunes of a dysfunctional franchise that he had a hand in running into the sewer.

As a couple of very astute hockey observers have mentioned repeatedly in the last couple of years, a GM who works under a President of Hockey Operations is not a GM at all...he's an Assistant GM in all but name.

This is Kevin Lowe's team and he has to wear its failure no matter what.

Start there and let the chips fall where they may.

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#6 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
November 04 2013, 07:33PM
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Good read

Firing Lowe will have no effect on the on ice product now is a statement that I think everyone knows however it still needs to happen because the only way to right this ship is change at the top.

MacT hasnt helped. His decisions made things worse when things were slowly looking better.

Arrogance and entitlement are killing this team. If the players are acting that way it is because that is the message they are seeing at the top.

Sux this season is lost

just sayin

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#7 Brett York
November 04 2013, 07:39PM
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It is a very sad state of affairs. I believe that myself, and all Oiler fans, have been infinitely patient with the "rebuild". We swallowed our pride and accepted that we would suck for a few years and accumulate picks, and i think we were all hopeful that the #1s, and Ebs, and J . Shultz would take us to the promised last fairly soon.

The bad news is, the management also had the simplistic viewpoint that these high picks and highly touted prospects served as a strategy to building a team and became very lazy and unthoughtful. The management has failed at all levels, who is the architect of the current roster, where have the scouts been, what have the oiler organization been thinking the last few years, i truly believe that all they think they needed to do was wait for Hall, Ebs, Nuge, and Yak to mature like Gretz, Mess, COffey , and Anderson matured and brought Glory. ONe problem, we don't have a Fogolin, or FUhr, or a Craig Muni or a Krusher on the roster. And our "stars" don't have the drive, competitiveness, and will to win. We don't have leadership.. Gretz was a winner, mess was a winner, and they instilled a winning atmosphere.... Our guys, unfortunately, are whiners, or worse, just soft.... I like hall, but he acts like a baby when things do go well, and he is a selfish player he is offside, gives away the puck over and over, and tries to do it himself, Nuge is still a 14 year old body with godlike hockey sesne, Yak is an emotional scoring winger who can't grasp a team game, J schultz just wants to get his elusive wrister from the point and usually it is blocked and is a 2 on 1 the other way.... total garbage, and we need a coach to kick their collective asses and wake them up to reality... we need some blood and guts guys here to give the team a reality check.... ANd we don't have a management that can grasp this never mind deliver it on the ice..... its going to be basement time for a long time unfortunately until things change upstairs..

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#8 Poolanov
November 04 2013, 08:16PM
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teenage alcoholics = bad hockey team

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#9 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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#10 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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#11 2ndTierOilersFan
November 04 2013, 08:26PM
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We are loaded with spoiled immature millionaires. They get paid whether the team wins or loses, so where's the incentive? All you had to do was look at the press box on Saturday night - Taylor Hall texting and laughing and having a grand old time, and Justin Schultz eating his popcorn without a care in the world, all while their team was being beaten to a pulp in the ice. There's one of the major problems with the team right there, too many spoiled little brats and not enough men who give a damn. Trade a couple of them for some real hockey players.

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#12 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
November 04 2013, 07:50PM
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The Oilers top 7 forwards group is still incomplete. Still searching for a second line center, and a 2nd line LW.

Top 3 defense, missing a 1 and a 2. Ference is a capable No. 3......If there's a 1 or 2 coming up through the pipeline, it's still years away.

Still may need a starting goaltender. The rest of that roster you can buy at Walmart in the summer.

Looks to me like our Oilers are just barely half way there. Halfway to being competitive again.

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#13 Craig
November 04 2013, 08:00PM
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I don't see the point in waiting till the end of the year to fire lowe when he would be making decisions come trade deadline. I wouldn't want a guys influence on a team when he's about to be shown the door.

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#14 DSF
November 04 2013, 08:40PM
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What a difference.

The Jets win 4-2...outshooting the Wings 47-28.

Despite having a team that is a real long shot to make the playoffs, the fans are standing and roaring for the last 2 minutes.

Nice to see.

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#16 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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#18 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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#19 DSF
November 04 2013, 08:11PM
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Those plucky Jets, through hard work and "compete" are leading the Red Wings 3-2 in the 3rd period.

SOG WPG 36 DET 21

Playing their bags off against a superior team.

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#21 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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#22 Greg
November 04 2013, 07:34PM
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as a fan this is a desperate cry to let Klowe go. Please!!! i'm bagging. i can't take it anymore, uncle, mercy, whatever. please let him go. just don't let him try to "fix" this. he's done enough. we all know that he's the one who calls all the shots for the GM anyways, weather it's Tambilini or McTavish its all Lowe. please let him go.

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#23 Batfink
November 04 2013, 08:54PM
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Mickey Mouse wears an Oilers watch....

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#24 Gerald R. Ford
November 04 2013, 09:01PM
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@Robin Brownlee

If they had tried to "Skype" PQ, he'd have reached through the screen, grabbed K-Lowe's six rings, and shoved them up his seventh.

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#25 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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#26 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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#27 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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#28 fig pucker
November 04 2013, 08:12PM
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I WANT MY POUND OF FLESH!

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#30 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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#31 D
November 04 2013, 07:55PM
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RB,

I admittedly was one of those who thought it was a good idea to lock down the core with lucrative contracts, particularly as a signal from ownership that Edmonton's "small market budget" days were over.

However, those who argued that big dollars, too soon, without a track record may result in complacency could find themselves proven right.

I've negotiated a few contracts in my small business and have run into a handful of professionals who excel at (and enjoy) "closing the business deal" and "acquiring new clients for themselves" but subsequently fail to honour their promises.

If any of the six million dollar players on the Oilers have decided that their professional high point was signing the big contract, the team could be in trouble.

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#32 Whitey31
November 04 2013, 08:30PM
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Been readin this site for years and just had to break the barrier and post something. I'm surprised i haven't read this anywhere yet and it's just a thought.

So last year the guys had a new rookie NHL coach and all the changes that come with it. Maybe it was because they knew Ralph, but they bought into his views. Fans were at least happy with the fact that we progressed (PK and PP especially), but Ralph wasn't. He had the balls to go to management and say " I could really use some help with a experienced NHL coach by my side".

Now I'm not gonna try to blame Eakins for this terrible start, but maybe Ralph was on to something? Considering the same support staff is there (+ Action), is it going to take all year before he can admit that he might need some help?

Sure what about Renny and Quinn, MacT? Well the game had progressed too much for Quinn, Renny was left with a pretty crappy roster and MacT was just there to long.

I'm not sayin fire the coach, just that a little extra experience behind the bench might help the players get the message? Just a thought

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#33 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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#34 Fresh Mess
November 04 2013, 09:34PM
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Some of this teams' core are coach killers.

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#36 @stevegregson2
November 04 2013, 07:59PM
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What's happening in Oil country is rather sad. The injuries, the goaltending, the special teams, the team seeming to quit on nights. The sked has been brutal as well.

Brownlee makes a very good point. Making a bold move, right now wouldn't be the way to do it. Vanek for Moulson trades are very rare and most likely end up very even. This team isn't going to turn Eberle or Yakupov into a Shea Weber. D men like that don't grow on trees and the ones that do are usually brought up and drafted by their team. Power forwards are usually the same way, drafting, developing and inputting them into a system.

I think the scariest thing so far, has been the fact that this teams core isn't healthy, but when they've been closest to that point, they havent played all that well. This team might deserve to have 5 or 6 wins that season, but they have 3 in 15 games. When I look at rosters like Colorado's, Phoenix or Calgary and see there shot differentials and advanced stats being well ahead of the oilers I shake my head. How is this happening. How is this team, no matter the injuries, so disorganized and unwilling to, as EAKINS says, "compete." I truly hate the word compete, because its something that can't be measured, but at this point I can sort of see it. Eakins loves the word, but my god, in his locker room under his system, this team has competed a lot less lately.

Firing Eakins might be an easy, cheap, painfully brutal out for management. At this point, would replacing him with Todd Nelson in OKC be a bad idea. Nelson who by all accounts of JWillis, has coached extremely well the last few seasons even if his roster has been decimated by the ending lockout and NHL call ups this year.

I've never bought Eakins and under him, key things that coaching does such as special teams and defensive zone coverage (scoring chances aside - the team is getting killed at 45.5% corsi) haven't improved. Systems improve these things. That's why Nashville, Phoenix and New Jersey are always there in the playoffs, winning games, despite the talent.

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#37 dragon
November 04 2013, 08:37PM
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The leadership is lacking in the dressing room because Lowe & MacT don't/can't handle that type of abrasive, in-your-face, hold-you-accountable type of player. That much-needed player is accountable 360° - both towards his teamates AND management. 6Rings doesn't do that. He's beyond ANY playes talking back. The SexySheldon case proved that point. Until Lowe - and the old boys club goes, there will be no real culture change in the Oilers locker room...

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#38 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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#40 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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#41 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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#42 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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#44 hankthetank
November 04 2013, 08:41PM
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Poolanov wrote:

teenage alcoholics = bad hockey team

^^^THIS!!!

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#45 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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#46 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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#47 RexHolez
November 04 2013, 08:43PM
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People seem mad for some reason. This team has sucked for 8 years now, losing is what they do. The problems they have now are the same problems they had 4 years ago. I'm not sure being the worst team in the league year after year really constitutes being termed a rebuild. If your mad, be mad at yourself for believing this team could be anything else then what they've proven to be for 8 years. Nothing has changed

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#48 Gerald R. Ford
November 04 2013, 08:53PM
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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*

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#49 @stevegregson2
November 04 2013, 08:05PM
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another point to post #10

Nelson, it could be argued has as much experience as - or less at this point - as Eakins. Although losing the room this early would be an inditement of the players, it is also a huge hit to the coach. Yes the Oilers roster isn't healthy, but a lot of the player selection such as playing Nick Schultz, Luke Gazdic, Ben Eager and Will Acton continuosly, despite there terrible numbers has shown me Eakins might not grasp the NHL game.

Theres other examples of this. Playing RNH 28 minutes a night, riding Ferrence and NSchultz vs Detroit despite there brutal numbers, the PK, the PP etc.

Coaches have been fired and hired for a lot a less in the NHL than a 3-10-2 record, even if its a debut. I would be willing to as a fan, forgive MacT for hiring Eakins as a rookie mistake. Right now, that's what this looks like.

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#50 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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