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 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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#2 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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#3 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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#4 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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#5 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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#6 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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#7 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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#8 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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#9 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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#10 Poolanov
November 04 2013, 08:16PM
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teenage alcoholics = bad hockey team

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#11 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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#12 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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#13 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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#14 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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#15 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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#16 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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#17 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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#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 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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#20 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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#21 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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#22 hankthetank
November 04 2013, 08:41PM
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Poolanov wrote:

teenage alcoholics = bad hockey team

^^^THIS!!!

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#23 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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#24 Poolanov
November 04 2013, 09:07PM
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Alcohol is not illegal

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#25 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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#26 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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#27 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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#28 InfiniteJoy
November 04 2013, 08:11PM
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Lowe has done more than anyone else has done for this franchise in its history, but it's time to go. He's not going to get fired (during the season at least), he needs to step down. I really hope he's not stubborn enough to try to stick around through this.

Even if it is Lowe's decision, "relieving him of his duties" (has there ever been a more accurate use of this silly term?) shows that the Oilers aren't going to sit down and take this. Right now may not be the time for a "bold move", but Lowe's dismissal would be something. If it doesn't change anything, making it just a superficial "WE DID SOMETHING!" move, hey at least it means that he doesn't have his finger in the pie making big decisions anymore. If he does still have a big say in things that should be MacT's call, then we will be better off.

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#29 David S
November 04 2013, 08:34PM
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Lowe Expectations wrote:

The very top of any organisation dictates what it's all about. Katz assembled a group at the top whose purpose was do what Katz wanted more than anything. The taxpayer funding of a new arena. Frankly, it's always been about the profit, not the product.

However, every strategy has it's flaw. In this case the on ice product has been compromised in a big way. Even though the games are sold out, tickets are becoming available in ever increasing fashion by people simply tired of all the losing. This devalues the product and in the long run the profit.

Good example of this. Today I was in Londonderry mall walking by Game On Sports. The front store display is an Oil Kings jersey. The front entrance area had zero Oiler jerseys on display. You have to go to the back part of the store to find any. I would gather from this demand is down and that doesn't the bottom line.

I'm firmly of the belief that only when Katz decides he wants to make winning the team's number 1 priority will this abomination cease.

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#30 madjam
November 04 2013, 08:41PM
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Fantasy Playout : Rather than blame the players , as they had better results last year behind Tams and Kreuger , we extend to current management and coaches the same courtesy they showed Tams and Kreuger on their exit out of organization . Katz needs merely to have new voice thank them for their time and services and state we are taking a new step or vision withso and so replacing so and so . Short and sweet just like the two previous ones . No sense waiting until end of season to do something that is appearing to be necessary now in order to best fascilitate next season at least . Why drag it out and completely waste maybe this season , and player development ? The results are already there to justify change requirements .

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#31 Poolanov
November 04 2013, 08:44PM
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That doesn't mean his son can play

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#32 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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#34 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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#35 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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#36 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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#37 Rheal1
November 05 2013, 04:58AM
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Quicksilver ballet 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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#38 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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#39 Quicksilver ballet
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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#40 @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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#41 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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#43 hankthetank
November 04 2013, 08:48PM
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Whitey31 wrote:

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

ralph combed thair hair after their showers and whispered sweet nothings into their ears. they were just doing ralph a favor by winning a few games for him. "thanks for the ego stroke ralph, i guess i'll move a little faster this period, but you're SOL for the third cause i need to save enough energy to go slay some chicks after the game."

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#45 BleedOil4Life
November 04 2013, 08:51PM
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@hankthetank

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

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#46 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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#48 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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#49 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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#50 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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