Moral victory, actual loss: Edmonton falls 3-2 to Anaheim

Jonathan Willis
December 15 2013 09:38PM

For those focused on process, the Oilers’ Sunday night game against Anaheim wasn’t bad. Edmonton’s team competed for 60 minutes, and got strong performances from a number of players. Sam Gagner – who had been demoted to the fourth line in Friday’s game against Vancouver – stood out in particular in the latter category.

But for those focused on results, it was more of the same: yet another loss, in a season full of them.

Scoring Chances

Some items that stand out here to me:

  • Gagner, as mentioned above, had a strong night.
  • The gap between the top-six and bottom-six is evident here; the players in the top-six are a combined plus-nine, while the bottom six is a combined minus-15. Most of that came from the third line, which got wasted by the Ducks.
  • One of the guys on the defensive rotation should come out for Anton Belov against Los Angeles, and if I’m the coach it’s Philip Larsen.

Other Stuff...

There is no question that Corey Potter deserved the five minute major and game misconduct that he was assessed for hitting Anaheim forward Nick Bonino from behind. Fortunately, Bonino was just shaken up on the play and was able to return to the game. I'd be surprised if Potter received more than a fine on the play in terms of supplemental discipline, though.

Ilya Bryzgalov played well in net. I don't think there's any doubt at this point that the starting job is his for the immediate future; he can play his way out of it but Devan Dubnyk has been given plenty of rope this season and all he's managed to do is hang the team from it. Bryzgalov wasn't crazy good against his old team but he was very solid and that's something the Oilers have lacked this season.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#101 tileguy
December 16 2013, 10:43AM
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from a tier 2 fan.

Katz and Lowe should have a guarantee win season next year. If the oilers do not collect 83 points (although still not a true 500 seasson) they will refund all season ticket holders their money back.

Pure marketing genius.

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#102 loweblows
December 16 2013, 10:43AM
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Rheal1 wrote:

This is what matters about last night: 0 points. Looking forward, this team is sinking fast. The incompetence within this organization is absolutely unconscionable! That new coach Eakins said: "If you're going to play for the Edmonton Oilers, you're going to compete". "We're going to bring this organization back so that we're in the mix to win every single year." "Just being talented is not enough." What just was MacT thinking??? It took Chicago TWO seasons to become a winner. Katz and Lowe really think that Oilers fans are suckers.

Actually you are wrong. Between 2002 and 2007 (not including lockout year of 2004) the Blackhawks were below 50% in the win column. That would be 5 years.

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#103 Jay
December 16 2013, 10:51AM
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The sad part is Lowe and company really believe they're building somthing special. They sit back collect first overall picks and think all it will take is time. This organization has become an embarrassment beyond belief

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#104 nick
December 16 2013, 10:52AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Lots of frustration in this comments section, and I get that. This team's been bad for a long time and the losses just keep piling up.

But the thing is that last night this group played pretty much to potential. Anaheim is just a better team, and the Oilers competed hard and came awfully close to forcing overtime.

Is it ridiculous that Edmonton is still this bad after so many years of rebuilding? Yes. Does anyone on the team legitimately deserve to be hammered for the loss last night? Not really; that one's on managers past and present, not the roster.

I watched that game last night and the Oilers did play to their full potential. Unfortunately though the Ducks fell into the old play as well as you have to mode. I use to watch the 80's Oilers do that from time to time just play as good as we have to boys. MacT has only had the GM title for a short time but lets not fool ourselves he was here a year before with a made up title and it was Him and Lowe that started this whole collapse of the franchise. Just simply put this is the most mismanaged franchise in the league.

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#105 Zarny
December 16 2013, 10:58AM
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** wrote:

I think the Edmonton Investors Group demanded far more accountability from their management team. Ever since Katz took over, The Lord of the rings & co. have been left to their own devices and the team is in the sewer flushing even deeper each year.

I;d rather have the coyotes-like Oilers roster of the early 2000's than this putrid collection of marshmallows and minor leaguers.

You don't get to be as successful as Katz without holding those who work for you accountable.

I think what you sense is the disconnect between fans and Oilers management in terms of perspective and expectations.

I suspect most fans lump the 8 consecutive years of missing the playoffs all together. Oiler's management does not.

Lowe et al view '07-'09 as chasing the dream following the '06 Cup run. They then sold Katz and a full blown rebuild. Burn the house down to draft the skill players failed offer sheets and trades couldn't produce.

In the eyes of Oilers management that reset the clock. The Oilers planned to suck over the last 3 years. I wouldn't expect Katz to do anything when everything is going according to plan.

I suspect this is the first year it could be different. Prior to his "six rings" comment Lowe asked one of the reporters "are you getting impatient?"

I expect most fans would say yes, and I suspect Katz might say the same thing soon enough. The Oilers "brain-trust" talked about a 6 yr rebuild. 3 to clean house and 3 to build it up.

Whether that was a good plan or not is an entirely different debate.

The first 3 years went as planned. Suck b*lls and draft some talent. Check. This year the rebuild has stalled. They haven't built anything beyond those draft picks. There has been a deviation from "the plan" and that I expect will get Katz' attention.

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#106 Dave
December 16 2013, 11:00AM
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We can not get a new coach again this year.

So what moves should we make this year ?

I think we will see two of Gagner, Hemsky and Ference gone at the trade deadline.

At least Hemsky and Ference have Stanley cup experience that may be in demand. Toronto may want Gagner.

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#107 outdoorzguy
December 16 2013, 11:08AM
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A loss is a loss is a loss. After years of losing, this has become the culture of the Edmonton Oilers. Just keep pumping money into the owners pocket, that's all that. They don't care about the fans (clearly stated by the President of Hockey Operations), so it's time everyone gave up on them!

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#108 Serious Gord
December 16 2013, 11:11AM
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Zarny wrote:

You don't get to be as successful as Katz without holding those who work for you accountable.

I think what you sense is the disconnect between fans and Oilers management in terms of perspective and expectations.

I suspect most fans lump the 8 consecutive years of missing the playoffs all together. Oiler's management does not.

Lowe et al view '07-'09 as chasing the dream following the '06 Cup run. They then sold Katz and a full blown rebuild. Burn the house down to draft the skill players failed offer sheets and trades couldn't produce.

In the eyes of Oilers management that reset the clock. The Oilers planned to suck over the last 3 years. I wouldn't expect Katz to do anything when everything is going according to plan.

I suspect this is the first year it could be different. Prior to his "six rings" comment Lowe asked one of the reporters "are you getting impatient?"

I expect most fans would say yes, and I suspect Katz might say the same thing soon enough. The Oilers "brain-trust" talked about a 6 yr rebuild. 3 to clean house and 3 to build it up.

Whether that was a good plan or not is an entirely different debate.

The first 3 years went as planned. Suck b*lls and draft some talent. Check. This year the rebuild has stalled. They haven't built anything beyond those draft picks. There has been a deviation from "the plan" and that I expect will get Katz' attention.

You are assuming that Katz is treating the on ice product like all of the other businesses he operates. There is a mountain of evidence to indicate that that is not the case - that this is a hobby / fan dream where he is best buds with a hero of his and who he has made POHO and whose wife apparently is his wife's best friend. And the org is chock-a-block with old era oilers with recent addition of messier.

He is this clearly NOT running the on ice as a business and that is to the great detriment on fans.

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#109 Rama Lama
December 16 2013, 11:16AM
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Dave wrote:

We can not get a new coach again this year.

So what moves should we make this year ?

I think we will see two of Gagner, Hemsky and Ference gone at the trade deadline.

At least Hemsky and Ference have Stanley cup experience that may be in demand. Toronto may want Gagner.

Why on earth would anyone want Gagner, Ference, or Hemsky?? Every GM in the NHL know that Ference will do nothing for you ( no offence or size) and at the age of 34.

Gagner is small, and nobody wants small centremen, except Edmonton. Hemsky could warrant a secound or third round pick.......whoopeeee!

I'm just so glad that Clarkson said no to Edmonton.......we avoided a bullet there and that is our Stanley Cup for this year!

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#110 Chris
December 16 2013, 11:18AM
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2004Z06 wrote:

You are right. Finishing 26-30th year after year is so much better!

Yes it is if it is followed by becoming a legitimate threat to win in the playoffs. I 'm not happy that we are sucking this year again- I thought we would be better. That doesn't make the rebuild a mistake. Do you think Chicago Pitsburg or LA regret being such a bad team in their past when they were drafting the core of their teams?

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#111 Rheal1
December 16 2013, 11:22AM
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Dave wrote:

We can not get a new coach again this year.

So what moves should we make this year ?

I think we will see two of Gagner, Hemsky and Ference gone at the trade deadline.

At least Hemsky and Ference have Stanley cup experience that may be in demand. Toronto may want Gagner.

How about the bums behind the bench called Smith & Buchberger? Can't we change them????????????????

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#112 Chris
December 16 2013, 11:33AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Completely wrong perspective.

If the eig was still in place they too would be benefitting from a dollar at parity, a salary cap, a booming economy, and merchandise and media revenues growing yearly. And a new - very profitable arena in the offing.

Their selling to Katz was bad timing.

So what does money and arena deals have to do with drafting? In order to get elite talent you pretty much have to draft it, and contending teams are winning because of their drafted players for the most part. If you are a fringe team your mid first round pick is unlikely to be a star. If I was only thinking about this season, I'd rather watch a 2000's era oiler team too. If I'm thinking about the future it's not even close, I take the current roster.

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#113 TeddyTurnbuckle
December 16 2013, 11:35AM
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It could be worse, we could have traded our first pick like the islanders did. What a blunder. They have to give buffalo this years pick( currently 2nd overall) or next years pick when mcdavid is up. The oilers have sucked for so long that I don't think 1 or 2 more years at the bottom matters. If you finish in the bottom 5 you should probably take the pick and keep building a young core. The oilers can improve the team this summer through free agent vets. That way we can improve 2 ways. Through the draft and free agency. I'm hoping that we can get a decent 2nd line center at the draft but don't rush him onto the team for a few years.

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#114 LOIL99
December 16 2013, 11:58AM
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@tileguy

Interesting idea but pointless in Edmonton from an ownership standpoint. They sell out season tickets every year and there is a waiting list several thousand deep. Why guarantee something that wont make you any more money?

That said, would be cool idea for a Florida or Phoenix. See if it would actually draw more fans.

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#115 **
December 16 2013, 12:00PM
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Zarny wrote:

You don't get to be as successful as Katz without holding those who work for you accountable.

I think what you sense is the disconnect between fans and Oilers management in terms of perspective and expectations.

I suspect most fans lump the 8 consecutive years of missing the playoffs all together. Oiler's management does not.

Lowe et al view '07-'09 as chasing the dream following the '06 Cup run. They then sold Katz and a full blown rebuild. Burn the house down to draft the skill players failed offer sheets and trades couldn't produce.

In the eyes of Oilers management that reset the clock. The Oilers planned to suck over the last 3 years. I wouldn't expect Katz to do anything when everything is going according to plan.

I suspect this is the first year it could be different. Prior to his "six rings" comment Lowe asked one of the reporters "are you getting impatient?"

I expect most fans would say yes, and I suspect Katz might say the same thing soon enough. The Oilers "brain-trust" talked about a 6 yr rebuild. 3 to clean house and 3 to build it up.

Whether that was a good plan or not is an entirely different debate.

The first 3 years went as planned. Suck b*lls and draft some talent. Check. This year the rebuild has stalled. They haven't built anything beyond those draft picks. There has been a deviation from "the plan" and that I expect will get Katz' attention.

The business side of the team is doing excellent. Several years of sold out games. A new arena without taking on all the risk.

The EIG didn't have the luxury of sold out seats. The fan base bought into the rebuild. The EIG decided to have a competitive team every year, they never blew the team up because they were worried about attendance and impact on their other businesses.

Selling the fan base on a rebuild was a genius marketing ploy. No need to be competitive, keep attendance high, keep payroll low.

For Katz, it has been a great 5 years. For anyone who cares about the on ice product and didn't buy the kool aid of the rebuild, it has been embarrassment and disappointment since 2009.

Katz will start demanding results on the ice when the business side of the Oilers begins to take a hit.

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#116 crobar
December 16 2013, 12:07PM
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if i had a dime for every moral victory over the last 7 years......... i'd be the owner!!!

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#117 **
December 16 2013, 12:09PM
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Katz did a hostile take over of the team. All the details are online for anyone interested.

Also for anyone interested, this is why Katz doesn't care that the Oilers lose year after year:

http://www.forbes.com/teams/edmonton-oilers/

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#118 Oiler Al
December 16 2013, 12:17PM
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Compared to the Canucks game, this was a massive improvement in effort and detail.

I think that Eakins should leave the first line intact for future games. They should have fired more pucks on Hiller as he was struggling early on and we could have had another goal.

Is this a "turn the corner" game? Not likely as we have seen them go over the cliff time after time this year. Give them some credit they came close to beating a big, leading team.

It wont get much better than this without at least 5 to 6 key roster changes.

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#119 Spoils
December 16 2013, 12:43PM
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when i look at the boston and anaheim games I think we are close. Imagine Nurse and Klefbom pan out and the rest of the oilers are 3 years better (Yak City anyone?) we win those games.

Now, Vancouver on the other hand... They really looked faster and better. They literally STICKED it to us.

That scares me.

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#120 Zarny
December 16 2013, 12:43PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

You are assuming that Katz is treating the on ice product like all of the other businesses he operates. There is a mountain of evidence to indicate that that is not the case - that this is a hobby / fan dream where he is best buds with a hero of his and who he has made POHO and whose wife apparently is his wife's best friend. And the org is chock-a-block with old era oilers with recent addition of messier.

He is this clearly NOT running the on ice as a business and that is to the great detriment on fans.

There is literally no evidence to support your claims. Just unsubstantiated rumors.

There is a mountain of evidence to support what I said because Lowe and Katz have literally repeated it verbatim.

The reality is after failed offer sheets, trades and Dustin Penner the Oilers were mired in 9-11th place with no elite talent.

Lowe et al then sold Katz on a rebuild.

Katz didn't have to say yes. Calgary's ownership didn't. They had Sutter and Feaster snowball that team into a brick wall only to get virtually nothing for Iginla and Kipper.

You're right Katz isn't running an NHL hockey team like a pharmacy though and thank God.

If that was the case he would have continued trying to duct tape what remained of the 2006 team for 1 more shot at glory and playoff revenue like the Flames.

Instead Katz signed off on the rebuild. It's sort of like taking over a struggling pharmacy or expanding into a new market.

Katz knew it would be tough times and that the team would be sh*t for a few years. You don't rebuild overnight which is why Katz didn't wet his pants and panic unlike so many fans.

However, that stage of the rebuild is done. This year the team was supposed to turn the corner and start building.

Playoffs was always best case scenario just like winning the Stanley Cup is Pit best case. It doesn't always happen but that is what each should compete for.

If the Oilers don't have a stronger 2nd half and move closer to 18-20th I think you'll see Katz get impatient. This is the 1st year that hasn't really gone according to the "plan".

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#121 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 16 2013, 12:46PM
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Aitch wrote:

2 seasons? You obviously don't have any friends who are Hawks fans. It took a lot more than two seasons. You can't start counting from the time they drafted Toews and Kane.

Between 1997-98 and 2007-08, the Hawks made the playoffs once and lost in the first round that year. Don't fool yourself into thinking their re-build was quick.

Most of those years you mention were under the old Wirtz, who was a piece of work, the rebuild did not start until he died

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#122 Spydyr
December 16 2013, 01:15PM
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** wrote:

Katz did a hostile take over of the team. All the details are online for anyone interested.

Also for anyone interested, this is why Katz doesn't care that the Oilers lose year after year:

http://www.forbes.com/teams/edmonton-oilers/

Imagine if Mr. Gregg had ownership.Awwww to dream.

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#123 Zarny
December 16 2013, 01:19PM
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** wrote:

The business side of the team is doing excellent. Several years of sold out games. A new arena without taking on all the risk.

The EIG didn't have the luxury of sold out seats. The fan base bought into the rebuild. The EIG decided to have a competitive team every year, they never blew the team up because they were worried about attendance and impact on their other businesses.

Selling the fan base on a rebuild was a genius marketing ploy. No need to be competitive, keep attendance high, keep payroll low.

For Katz, it has been a great 5 years. For anyone who cares about the on ice product and didn't buy the kool aid of the rebuild, it has been embarrassment and disappointment since 2009.

Katz will start demanding results on the ice when the business side of the Oilers begins to take a hit.

I disagree. I don't see the rebuild as a marketing ploy. I think that is incredibly naive.

Billionaires like Katz don't own NHL teams for the business. He has Rexall for that. The money he makes from the Oilers is literally chump change to his portfolio. That might leave a sour taste in some people's mouth but it's reality. The only reason to own a pro sports franchise is to win.

Had the Oilers continued on the previous path by EIG they would likely have missed the playoffs just the same and the team would still have no elite talent.

I think Katz signed off on a rebuild because he knows Edmonton is the 29th most popular destination for free agents and the draft was Edm's best path to acquire the required highly skilled players.

I didn't expect Katz to get antsy the previous 3 years because he knew the team would be sh*t. That was the plan.

This year is different though. The time has come to turn the corner. If Katz doesn't see results on the ice by the end of the year that give him confidence I think Oiler fans will get their wish to see Lowe fired.

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#124 **
December 16 2013, 01:34PM
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Zarny wrote:

I disagree. I don't see the rebuild as a marketing ploy. I think that is incredibly naive.

Billionaires like Katz don't own NHL teams for the business. He has Rexall for that. The money he makes from the Oilers is literally chump change to his portfolio. That might leave a sour taste in some people's mouth but it's reality. The only reason to own a pro sports franchise is to win.

Had the Oilers continued on the previous path by EIG they would likely have missed the playoffs just the same and the team would still have no elite talent.

I think Katz signed off on a rebuild because he knows Edmonton is the 29th most popular destination for free agents and the draft was Edm's best path to acquire the required highly skilled players.

I didn't expect Katz to get antsy the previous 3 years because he knew the team would be sh*t. That was the plan.

This year is different though. The time has come to turn the corner. If Katz doesn't see results on the ice by the end of the year that give him confidence I think Oiler fans will get their wish to see Lowe fired.

Th brass in San Jose has repeatedly said publicly that a rebuild is not an option for them because their market is not strong enough to support it. The moment they stop competing the franchise tanks monetarily speaking. The EIG had the same idea and pushed to ice a competitive team (within their financial limitations) year after year.

The moment that pressure went off for Oilers brass with the supposed deep pockets of the new owner, really bad decisions began to be made, like you said, bad offer sheets and poor trades.

A franchise worth $400 million is not chump change for anyone, I don't think anyone becomes a billionaire by seeing anything as chump change. You are speaking about Katz without having direct evidence to support this is what he thinks, while I am speaking about Katz's business, with actual figures to support my conclusions.

The fact, with numbers, is that business is good and there is no incentive to press for better results or make deeper organizational changes.

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#125 Zarny
December 16 2013, 01:34PM
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reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan) wrote:

Most of those years you mention were under the old Wirtz, who was a piece of work, the rebuild did not start until he died

Completely incorrect. Bill Wirtz died on September 26, 2007.

The Hawks drafted Keith and Seabrook in 2002 and 2003 respectively. They drafted Toews in 2006 and Kane on June 22, 2007. They acquired Patrick Sharp to start the 2006 season.

All of those players were in place before Wirtz died. Trading for Hossa doesn't constitute a rebuild I'm afraid.

The reality is Chicago never went full blown "rebuild". They were just a bad team for a very long time and over the course of 8 years drafted enough talent to build a contender around.

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#126 Zarny
December 16 2013, 01:50PM
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** wrote:

Th brass in San Jose has repeatedly said publicly that a rebuild is not an option for them because their market is not strong enough to support it. The moment they stop competing the franchise tanks monetarily speaking. The EIG had the same idea and pushed to ice a competitive team (within their financial limitations) year after year.

The moment that pressure went off for Oilers brass with the supposed deep pockets of the new owner, really bad decisions began to be made, like you said, bad offer sheets and poor trades.

A franchise worth $400 million is not chump change for anyone, I don't think anyone becomes a billionaire by seeing anything as chump change. You are speaking about Katz without having direct evidence to support this is what he thinks, while I am speaking about Katz's business, with actual figures to support my conclusions.

The fact, with numbers, is that business is good and there is no incentive to press for better results or make deeper organizational changes.

I agree with the brass in San Jose; their market wouldn't support a rebuild.

EIG had the same idea because a) the Canadian dollar was at 60 cents for a good part of their ownership - different bottom line b) they made a Cup run in 2006 c) prior to the previous lockout 18-20 kids weren't ripping up the league.

The bad offer sheets and trades weren't because the pressure was off. It was Lowe's last ditch attempt to acquire elite talent after Pronger booked out of town.

The facts, with numbers, are that the Oiler's profit is ~ $10 million a year. That's what Katz actually puts in his pocket.

And yes, that is chump change for a billionaire. The $400 million is the franchise valuation by Forbes IF Katz decides to sell and someone is willing to pay him for it. Other sources value the Oilers at more like $220 million.

And no, billionaires like Katz don't own NHL franchises to make $10 million a year. Teams are nothing but expensive bobbles to feed the ego of rich owners.

$10 million doesn't feed an ego when you're worth over billion. Stanley Cups, championship rings and accolades from the fan base feed egos.

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#127 Zarny
December 16 2013, 01:59PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Why on earth would anyone want Gagner, Ference, or Hemsky?? Every GM in the NHL know that Ference will do nothing for you ( no offence or size) and at the age of 34.

Gagner is small, and nobody wants small centremen, except Edmonton. Hemsky could warrant a secound or third round pick.......whoopeeee!

I'm just so glad that Clarkson said no to Edmonton.......we avoided a bullet there and that is our Stanley Cup for this year!

There would be many teams in the NHL that would want Ference, Gagner and Hemsky.

Ference is a Cup winner and on an actual contender fits into the 4-5th D spot perfectly.

Tor signed Bozak to 5 years and Wsh signed Grabovski; and you don't think anyone would want Gagner? Come on, give your head a shake. Buf signed Ville Leino for God's sake.

Even Hemsky will be sought after; simply not at $5M. Of the 3 he probably has the least value. A 2nd or 3rd round pick is probably close because he'll be a rental. Guaranteed though someone will sign him to $3-3.5M on the 1st day of free agency.

Regarding Clarkson, Edm dodged nothing because Clarkson never even considered the Oilers.

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#128 MessyEH!
December 16 2013, 02:28PM
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Zarny wrote:

There would be many teams in the NHL that would want Ference, Gagner and Hemsky.

Ference is a Cup winner and on an actual contender fits into the 4-5th D spot perfectly.

Tor signed Bozak to 5 years and Wsh signed Grabovski; and you don't think anyone would want Gagner? Come on, give your head a shake. Buf signed Ville Leino for God's sake.

Even Hemsky will be sought after; simply not at $5M. Of the 3 he probably has the least value. A 2nd or 3rd round pick is probably close because he'll be a rental. Guaranteed though someone will sign him to $3-3.5M on the 1st day of free agency.

Regarding Clarkson, Edm dodged nothing because Clarkson never even considered the Oilers.

I agree Hemsky at 3 to 3.5 is a great deal. There's not too many teams that wouldn't do that contract.

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#129 LOIL99
December 16 2013, 03:59PM
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Rheal1 wrote:

This is what matters about last night: 0 points. Looking forward, this team is sinking fast. The incompetence within this organization is absolutely unconscionable! That new coach Eakins said: "If you're going to play for the Edmonton Oilers, you're going to compete". "We're going to bring this organization back so that we're in the mix to win every single year." "Just being talented is not enough." What just was MacT thinking??? It took Chicago TWO seasons to become a winner. Katz and Lowe really think that Oilers fans are suckers.

Two seasons for Chi to become a winner???

You are out to lunch. They were bad for a decade. They made the playoffs ONCE between 97-98 and 07-08.

And they had Keith and Seabrook in the stables long before they drafted Toews and Kane.

What a comment....

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#130 Warren
December 16 2013, 06:52PM
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@**

Please excuse me if I'm wrong but didn't EIG shut down all player development by not having an ahl team. For several years. Any decent draft picks during their reign? They cashed in very well.

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#131 **
December 16 2013, 08:49PM
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Warren wrote:

Please excuse me if I'm wrong but didn't EIG shut down all player development by not having an ahl team. For several years. Any decent draft picks during their reign? They cashed in very well.

Edmonton Road runners, bad results, but they tried. Now please tell me how many OKC barons are currently NHL regulars?

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#132 **
December 16 2013, 09:14PM
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Zarny wrote:

I agree with the brass in San Jose; their market wouldn't support a rebuild.

EIG had the same idea because a) the Canadian dollar was at 60 cents for a good part of their ownership - different bottom line b) they made a Cup run in 2006 c) prior to the previous lockout 18-20 kids weren't ripping up the league.

The bad offer sheets and trades weren't because the pressure was off. It was Lowe's last ditch attempt to acquire elite talent after Pronger booked out of town.

The facts, with numbers, are that the Oiler's profit is ~ $10 million a year. That's what Katz actually puts in his pocket.

And yes, that is chump change for a billionaire. The $400 million is the franchise valuation by Forbes IF Katz decides to sell and someone is willing to pay him for it. Other sources value the Oilers at more like $220 million.

And no, billionaires like Katz don't own NHL franchises to make $10 million a year. Teams are nothing but expensive bobbles to feed the ego of rich owners.

$10 million doesn't feed an ego when you're worth over billion. Stanley Cups, championship rings and accolades from the fan base feed egos.

The Oilers made the playoffs quite a few times before the 2006 cup run, so your argument that the EIG had the same idea as San Jose because of it is invalid. Same goes for saying that the weak dollar prevented them from spending more. It played a part, but the league was still a heavy gate revenue business, and The Coliseum wasn't sold out every season.

As for the Oilers worth, Forbes is a more reputable source than you are I'm afraid. You mentioned other sources, but didn't specify which. In any event, Forbes is a reputable source.

The value of the franchise is of value to Katz not just because he can make profit out of it, but because he can use it as leverage to finance other business ventures. Commercial banks, hedge funds, insurance houses, derivatives markets, etc, etc all use the value of the franchise if Katz decides do business with them.

I'll let you in on a little secret: businesses tend to do well, business, often with borrowed money because sometimes it is cheaper to borrow at low interest rates than using your own money if the real rate of inflation is higher. More importantly, Katz's assets are used when evaluating risk, and the more assets he has, and the less prone to depreciation they are, the better for his whole business.

That is the end of the free lesson in economics. IF you want to know more go get a degree in economics like I did.

You keep repeating your ideas with virtually no backing, so I'm done arguing with you. One last thing that should be obvious but I guess in your case it eludes you: KAtz value (ie, him being called a billionaire) is not the value of his bank account, it's the value of his assets. He doesn't have 2.3 billion stashed under his mattress, that's what all his assets would be worth if he sold them today (plus whatever cash he does have in bank accounts). The Oilers are valued at 400 million, that's around 15% of his total value, so, for the last time, it's not chump change.

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#133 Ari Gold
December 16 2013, 11:30PM
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The lessons I've learned from the Edmonton Oilers of the last 20 years.

It's ok to lose.

The fanbase's love is unconditional.

Former bottom 6 players are infallible in management.

It's only a matter of time until we have a team like we did in the 80s.

The Edmonton Oilers organization prioritizes winning.

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#134 Cold Hard Truth
December 17 2013, 09:02AM
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Zarny wrote:

There is literally no evidence to support your claims. Just unsubstantiated rumors.

There is a mountain of evidence to support what I said because Lowe and Katz have literally repeated it verbatim.

The reality is after failed offer sheets, trades and Dustin Penner the Oilers were mired in 9-11th place with no elite talent.

Lowe et al then sold Katz on a rebuild.

Katz didn't have to say yes. Calgary's ownership didn't. They had Sutter and Feaster snowball that team into a brick wall only to get virtually nothing for Iginla and Kipper.

You're right Katz isn't running an NHL hockey team like a pharmacy though and thank God.

If that was the case he would have continued trying to duct tape what remained of the 2006 team for 1 more shot at glory and playoff revenue like the Flames.

Instead Katz signed off on the rebuild. It's sort of like taking over a struggling pharmacy or expanding into a new market.

Katz knew it would be tough times and that the team would be sh*t for a few years. You don't rebuild overnight which is why Katz didn't wet his pants and panic unlike so many fans.

However, that stage of the rebuild is done. This year the team was supposed to turn the corner and start building.

Playoffs was always best case scenario just like winning the Stanley Cup is Pit best case. It doesn't always happen but that is what each should compete for.

If the Oilers don't have a stronger 2nd half and move closer to 18-20th I think you'll see Katz get impatient. This is the 1st year that hasn't really gone according to the "plan".

The 'rebuild' only began to be purveyed once the team was already in the basement. Therefore, the 'rebuild' was more a case of mgmt putting their best foot forward than some well-calculated plan that Katz reluctantly accepted. Moreover, the 'plan' -- if there even is one -- went off track last season as stated by Lowe himself when he fired Tambellini.

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