GDB 37.0: ASK SAKIC?

Jason Gregor
December 19 2013 12:29PM

As the Oilers get set to face the Colorado Avalanche trying to end a four game losing streak, Taylor Hall and company can take solace in knowing that some other young stars endured many years of losing, before tasting the sweet nectar of victory.

They should ask Joe Sakic, the Avalanche's Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations, about losing. He lost way more than these kids have early in his career, and it didn't break him, and he didn't pout about it. He persevered and became a Hall of Famer.

Hall has played 200 games, Eberle has been in 231 games, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has dressed in 136, while Nail Yakupov is at 82 games and Justin Schultz has played 76. No one should be suggesting that all the losing is going to wear down these kids. I don't believe any of them are that fragile, but even if they thought about having a pity party, they should do a quick search of Joe Sakic's career.

Sakic was drafted 15th overall in 1987 by the Quebec Nordiques. He played one more season in Swift Current before debuting with the Nordiques in October of 1988. Keep in mind that in his first three seasons he played in a 21-team league where 16 teams made the playoffs.

In Sakic's first three seasons, the Nordiques finished dead last every year. The Nordiques drafted 1st, 1st, 1st and 4th in his first four NHL seasons.

1989: They went 27-46-7 for 61 points.
1990: They were 12-61-7 for 31 points.
1991: They went 16-50-14 for 46 points.
1992: They went 20-28-12 for 52 points.

In 1993, they were literally twice as good picking up 104 points going 47-27-10, but in 1994 Sakic and the Nordiques dipped back down to 76 points with a 34-42-8 record.

In his first four seasons, Sakic's Nordiques won a measly 75 of the 320 games they played. Sakic dressed in 299 of those games, and he learned much more about losing than he did winning.

Despite all the losses Sakic played exceptionally well.

YEAR       GP      G       A      PTS
1989        70      23     39      62 
1990        80      39     63     102
1991        80      48     61     109
1992        69      29     65      94

In 1990, the second leading scorer on the Nordiques was Peter Stastny with 62 points in 62 games before being traded. In 1991, Sakic had 50 more points than his closest teammate; Mats Sundin tallied 59 points.

Sakic didn't let the losing get to him. He kept battling and kept producing. 

WINNERS KEEP WORKING DESPITE LOSING  

Hall played his 200th game on Tuesday, and despite another loss, Hall, Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins haven't come close to experiencing the type of losing that Sakic had to face.

Hall's Oilers have played 248 games since he entered the league and they've won 87 of those. Sakic's team won 75 of 320 during his first four seasons. Losing sucks and I'm sure it can wear down a player, but if Hall wants to become one of the greats he needs to keep playing hard, and hope that eventually he will be surrounded by better players. He needs to continue to show determination and play strong, and like Sakic, at times he will need to carry the Oilers on his back.

Hall was the Oilers most dangerous forward in LA. He needs to keep playing like that, regardless of where the Oilers are in the standings or how often they are losing. Hall has the ability to be a franchise player, and considering how much he has improved in his last 100 games, I suspect he'll only keep getting better.

I've heard some people suggesting the kids will get tired of losing and want out of Edmonton, but competitive people don't think like that. There will be games where they look frustrated, and understandably so, but many elite players have started their NHL careers tasting defeat more often than victory, and the last thing that Hall or any of his teammates will do is feel sorry for themselves.

They need to be part of the solution, and when they start to win the victories will be more fulfilling because of what they learned in their first few seasons.

MORE TOUGH STARTS...

Mario Lemieux missed the playoffs in his first four seasons, and five of his first six. The Penguins drafted 2nd, 4th, 5th and 4th in his first four years.

Steven Stamkos has missed the playoffs four of his first five seasons. The Bolts have drafted 2nd, 6th, 10th and 3rd during those four losing seasons.

John Tavares has missed the playoffs three of his first four years, and the Islanders are poised to miss the postseason again. They have drafted 4th, 5th and 5th thus far in his non-playoff seasons.

Rick Nash played five full seasons without the playoffs, and he missed the dance in 8 of his first 9 years.

Ilya Kovalchuk missed the postseason his first four years and seven of his first eight seasons.

Vincent Lecavalier missed the playoffs his first four seasons. The Bolts were scheduled to pick 1st, 5th, 3rd and 4th in those years.

**Sidenote**.. Rick Dudley was the GM for Tampa Bay in 1999 and he traded the 1st overall pick. He moved down to 4th, and then traded again and didn't pick until 47th. He ended up with Dan Cloutier, Andrei Zyuzin, Shawn Burr and the Rangers 1st round pick in 2000. He could have used the first pick on Patrik Stefan or one of the Sedins, although those two had made it known they really wanted to play together.

The next year, Dudley traded the 5th pick to the Islanders for Kevin Weekes, Kristian Kurdroc and the 31st pick. The Islanders selected Raffi Torres. Despite these horrific deals, the Lightning still won the Cup in 2004. ***

Losing stinks but Hall and company aren't the first group of young stars to endure losing seasons, so let's stop the suggestions that they will want out of Edmonton. Anyone in the media or fan base who suggests these kids have endured too much losing need only look at the career paths of other young stars. Rarely is it an instant path to success.

Winning is difficult and as painful as these past few seasons have been for Hall and company, they need to learn from it, and be willing to ensure they improve their play so the team becomes more successful. Hall is good enough to lead this team to better times ahead, and he'll likely inspire his teammates to follow him in the coming seasons.

LINEUP...

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Perron-Gagner-Yakupov
Smyth-Gordon-Hemsky
Jones-Lander-Gazdic

Ference-Petry
N.Schultz-J.Schultz
Belov-Larsen

Dubnyk

Arcobello got rocked by Drew Doughty in the 3rd period of Tuesday's 3-0 loss to the Kings, and hasn't skated since. Lander will draw in for Arcobello. 

The Oilers will need to get scoring chances from someone other than Hall tonight. The Avalanche are 6-5-1 in their last 12, and after a 16-5 start they are starting to look more like the team people expected. They aren't a force like the Kings, Bruins or Ducks, but they will provide another solid test for the Oilers.

Dubnyk gets the start. I'm not one who buys into the "Dubnyk plays better when pushed" theory; however, it is obvious that Dubnyk needs to be more consistent.  I want a goalie who plays well regardless of who he shares the net with.

WHAT SEE YOU?

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers will end their trip on a high, with a 4-2 victory in Denver.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Bordeleau and Gazdic drop the gloves. Fight fans love it, while anti-fight crowd will complain. This will never change.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Usually it is former Oilers scoring against Edmonton, but tonight Ryan Smyth bucks that trend and scores against his former team ending his 10-game goal scoring drought. In 16 home games, Erik Johnson has only been a minus player twice, but he ends up -1 tonight.

DAY 15 MONTH OF GIVING...

Yesterday we raised another $3,850 bringing our total to $58,700. Incredible. Thank you.

Today's packages include:

Package #1:

Today's package is courtesy of The Maximum Fighting Championship:

  • Two season tickets to all three MFC shows in Edmonton in 2014, starting January 17th.
  • VIP dinner for two at the Shaw conference centre prior to each show.
  • Be a cornerman during one of the fights... **You must be 16 years of age or older***

Package #2:

  • $1,000 gift certificate/store credit at Reside Furnishings
  • Pair of club seats (section 112 row 14) for Oilers vs. Penguins on January 10th.
  • $50 bucks in Oilers money to use at the game for beer or food.

You can bid by calling 780.444.1260 or 1.800.243.1945 between 2-6 p.m. today.

Thanks in advance. All proceeds will go to the Christmas Bureau.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
Avatar
#1 Rick Stroppel
December 19 2013, 01:16PM
Trash it!
29
trashes
Cheers
26
cheers

TIRED OF ALL THE NEGATIVITY!

In my view the rebuild is right on schedule. Obviously the "big plan" is to build a Stanley Cup contender in time for the move into the new arena. This is YEARS away...2015-16...what?...that's a year and a half?...whatever.

Anyway, by that time the roster will be completely revamped and will look something like this: Sam Gagner, Will Acton, Tyler Pitlick, David Musil, Alex Plante (only minus 13 in the Austrian league!), Robert Nilsson (burning it up in the Swiss league!), both Foligno brothers (can't remember their names, sorry), Keegan Lowe, McTavish's kid, Eric Comrie, Henrik Samuelsson, Sam Reinhart, Griffin Reinhart, Max Reinhart, Max Domi, Max Headroom, Lotto Max, Cammi Granato, Hayley Wickenheiser. Darnell Nurse will get traded when someone figures out that he is related to a football player, not a hockey player.

McTavish will be back as head coach and Lowe will be back as GM. What could go wrong? THEY KNOW A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WINNING!

Avatar
#2 Valter Slobchak
December 19 2013, 03:52PM
Trash it!
27
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
** wrote:

what?!?!?!?!?!

I agree. He constantly writes nonsense - serious posters - not posers - only please!

P.S. I would trade Hall straight across for Phaneuf! You would be crazy not too.

Avatar
#3 RexHolez
December 19 2013, 01:29PM
Trash it!
19
trashes
Cheers
13
cheers

Awesome! Another article trying to defending yet another pityful season with excuses and far reaching comparables

Avatar
#4 season not played
December 19 2013, 12:42PM
Trash it!
18
trashes
Cheers
29
cheers

The Oilers are horrible and it doesn't matter how you look at it. They are in a deep hole that is going to be extremely difficult to climb out of. And I'm not talking this year. I mean in the years to come.

Avatar
#5 Old Timer
December 19 2013, 12:42PM
Trash it!
17
trashes
Cheers
27
cheers

Avs were embarrassed last game. With DD in net you can expect a blowout. 7 - 2 for the Avs.

And this from a Dubnyk supporter.

Avatar
#6 hallsyoilerforever5
December 19 2013, 12:41PM
Trash it!
16
trashes
Cheers
46
cheers

Dubnyk in? We lose.

Avatar
#7 **
December 19 2013, 01:47PM
Trash it!
15
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

10-1 Colorado. Take it to the bank.

Avatar
#8 Lochenzo
December 19 2013, 02:44PM
Trash it!
15
trashes
Cheers
14
cheers

If the Oilers were to deal one of their prized kids, it's an easy answer today to say that the Oil should keep Taylor Hall over Nail Yakupov. But, I think if you dig deeper, this is actually a tough decision. Yak's age-relative stats, with the exception of this year, are superior to Hall's. I've also noticed Yak winning pucks a few more battles along the boards and beating his checks off the wall a lot more as of late. I think he will be an excellent producer off of the cycle very soon.

I just wonder if we do trade Yak, in a few years we might be saying, wow, maybe we should have dealt Hall and kept Yak.

Avatar
#9 Spydyr
December 19 2013, 12:57PM
Trash it!
13
trashes
Cheers
17
cheers

Dubnyk?

Guess the drive or dive for the first overall draft pick has officially started.

Avatar
#10 Bryzarro World
December 19 2013, 01:42PM
Trash it!
13
trashes
Cheers
12
cheers

Feels good to be separated from the oil love affair.

I feel sorry for the fools hanging onto their tickets just to see the new arena. Not worth it now and won't be worth it then.

With the lack of accountability this franchise has I can no longer cheer for them. Katz suckin klowe off and viseversa is getting tiresome and are we really going to believe the crap they spew on their own site? Tired of it all.

I got more to bitch about but i got the flu so I'm popping a few pills and will crash until the Oilers finish embarrassing themselves yet again.

Why did we fire Renny again?

Avatar
#11 Johhny
December 19 2013, 01:03PM
Trash it!
11
trashes
Cheers
16
cheers

I can't believe Dubnyk is starting.

Guaranteed Loss.

Avatar
#12 S
December 19 2013, 03:04PM
Trash it!
11
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
** wrote:

No, I got knocked out in the first minute.

Shocking! Your big mouth (keyboard) writes cheques your dukes can't cash! Tuff guy!

Avatar
#13 Dan the Man
December 19 2013, 01:24PM
Trash it!
8
trashes
Cheers
12
cheers
Spydyr wrote:

Dubnyk?

Guess the drive or dive for the first overall draft pick has officially started.

"Completely fall apart for Reinhart" or "Play really bad for Ekblad"?

Avatar
#14 Fresh Mess
December 19 2013, 12:43PM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Cheers
22
cheers

Jason, the only thing keeping the Oilers from matching or exceeding the Nords' futility points totals is the loser point.

Avatar
#15 Spydyr
December 19 2013, 12:58PM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Cheers
44
cheers

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION:Another "moral victory"

Avatar
#16 Mac962
December 19 2013, 12:59PM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Cheers
29
cheers

Nice of them to award Bryz for a solid effort against the Kings. Eakins must have a man crush on DD. Time to go with the hot hand and it is not DD.

Has or does MacT have any intent on addressing all 2 or 3 tiers of fans with any kind of remarks ? Better yet let Klowe speak, i could use a good joke right about now.

Avatar
#17 Spydyr
December 19 2013, 01:23PM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers
S cottV wrote:

Have to keep Dubnyk in the mix and hope they both play well.

Dubnyk still deserves some support, although he better get it going, because it is getting harder to justify.

Bryz looks better - no question, but is still early and with the playoffs gone, why over expose him and draw others into the Bryz ufa sweepstakes.

I mean we ride Bryz - kill Dubnyk - lose Bryz and there is no end to the gong show.

What if Dubnyk continues to play as he has all year. Honestly why should that change. He will only lower his value more. Besides silly me but I thought the coach was supposed to "try" to win games. My bad.

Avatar
#18 Drowning in Oil
December 19 2013, 02:13PM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Cheers
13
cheers

WHAT REALLY PISSES ME OFF! What really pisses me off is how this coach and Mac T are going to get a free pass all in the name of continuity. We had a coach in Kruger, and it was Mac T's decision to replace him, so if the new coach is not better than the previous, then why should they not be held accountable. The media and management will try to defend Mac T and Eakins as hard as they can but the truth is...... WHO GIVES A RATS ASS ABOUT CONTINUITY. I WANT TO SEE WINS. YOU CAN SIT BACK AND WAIT FOR A COACH TO START WINNING AND YOU MAY WAIT FOREVER BUT GOD DAMN IT, YOU BETTER DO SOMETHING. HOW MANY YEARS WILL WE HAVE TO WAIT AND GIVE EAKINS AND MAC T THE BENEFIT OF DOUBT??? What a load of BS!!!

Avatar
#19 Cynic
December 19 2013, 12:58PM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
11
cheers

I see a lot of teams on that list that are perennial doormats. The Oilers are as far away from winning a Cup as they've ever been. What's it like to pay a few thousand bucks a year on the hope that some over-rated 18-yr-old Dman will be the next Jeebus?

Avatar
#20 Fresh Mess
December 19 2013, 12:59PM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers

I agree the Nords were brutal. I remember it well. Can't believe it was 1990 that Stasny was traded. The loser point completely changed things. How many of the Nords losses were in OT? How many of the games that were a tie would the Nords have won in a shootou(they had some skill guys that would have done well)?

It may have changed the way they played in OT. Just different. Look at the league standings and I think that gives a better indicator. Aside from the season where QC got like thirty points the Oilers have been as brutal IMO.

Personally, I feel they should have gotten rid of the loser point when they brought in the shootout.

Avatar
#21 AdamfromOilfans
December 19 2013, 01:31PM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers

Instant path to success? Don't see there being a lot of success for most of the guys on your list there.

Columbus never won a playoff game during Nash's time there. He eventually demanded a trade. Atlanta was likewise blanked with Kovalchuk, who declined to re-sign there at the first opportunity to get out (and fellow high pick and star Heatley asked for a trade out too). The Islanders have been almost as bad as the Oilers over the past decade and seem doomed to finish well back again this year.

Tampa is the only success story there with Lecavalier and that required a house cleaning at the top of that organization, a second round pick turning in to a star in Brad Richards, a brilliant trade for Dan Boyle, an almost unnoticed free agent signing becoming a dominant player in Marty St. Louis, and a big trade for a goaltender. That didn't even keep them good for long, as they languished back to the point where they could draft Stamkos first overall. He hasn't seen a lot of post-season success in his career yet, and eventually age is likely to overtake St. Louis which will hurt the franchise again.

As for Lemieux, it's ridiculous to put him up as a comparable. The guy is one of the top five to ever play the game.

With Sakic, you neglected to mention the big item that changed the team's fortunes ahead of the 92-93 season. It's unlikely that the Oilers are going to be able to trade anyone on their roster for to six NHL players including a future Hall of Famer.

This will be the eighth year out of the playoffs for the Oilers. The team has a legitimate shot at tying or breaking the Panthers' futility streak of 10 straight seasons. Even if the players don't get too sick of losing, do the fans have the stomach for much more of it?

It's not enough to just say "they don't have the pieces." Team management needs to start telling them that they are expected to win with what they have. Trades will come later when we can supplement a winning team. As it is now, there's no player or two in the league who are going to come in and turn things around on their own. The team believes what you're saying...they are fine believing they aren't expected to compete yet, and so they're waiting for MacTavish to bring in more stars. That may never happen (trades are hard, trades for stars are almost impossible and stars don't choose perennially bad teams to join when they're UFA), so until the team starts taking it on themselves to better the team, we're in for a dark, dark time here in Edmonton.

And if that time lasts too long, then you will see the team bleed away good players who will have relieved looks on their faces as they leave town.

Avatar
#22 S cottV
December 19 2013, 01:39PM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

@Spydyr

Still think Dubnyk can get it going....

Avatar
#23 hall2010
December 19 2013, 10:15PM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
19
cheers

how is eakins still the head coach...the players don't want to play for this fool...

Avatar
#24 Serious Gord
December 19 2013, 10:17PM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

Looking further ahead on the schedule the next game against cgy should be a real Waterloo. If the oil lose to the flames surely something needs to happen in the mgmt ranks.

Avatar
#25 Fresh Mess
December 19 2013, 01:08PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
18
cheers

Interesting parallels between the Nords and Oilers. The Nords also stockpiled young talent, but didn't turn into a winning team until they made some tough decisions and traded Lindros and Sundin away.

The scary thing is, even at their lowest point the Nords missed the playoffs 5 straight years. The Oilers are going onto 8.

Avatar
#26 Spydyr
December 19 2013, 01:17PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
18
cheers

Okay I just figured out why Eakins is starting Dubnyk. The Oil scored eight goals against the Avs last time they played so he is figuring with Dammit in net they can still win 8-7.

Avatar
#27 Spydyr
December 19 2013, 01:32PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
15
cheers
Dan the Man wrote:

"Completely fall apart for Reinhart" or "Play really bad for Ekblad"?

The Oilers cannot even lose right. If they had lost that last meaningless game at the end of last season to Calgary. Seth Jones would today be an Oiler. Next year when the only true franchise player since Sid becomes available in the draft. I fully expect the Oilers to be out of the lotto pick sweepstakes.

Avatar
#28 Hall of a Player
December 19 2013, 01:42PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
13
cheers

Why do we need to ask Sakic about losing?? We've got that figured out already. If only there was someone around that knew something about winning...

Hmmmm...there must be someone.

Anyone, anyone??

Avatar
#29 Towersofdub
December 19 2013, 01:59PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

it's a bit much to pin the oilers playoff futility from 2007 - 2011 on Hall, Eberle, RNH & Yakupov. Maybe Hall was expected to drag edmonton into the playoffs by 2011. I guess he never got that message. I'd like to give him at least 5 years before we declare him a bust. Maybe by this time next season, some team in the NHL has decided they can't afford their #1 Defenseman anymore, or there's some kind of trade to be made to balance the mix out in edmonton...until then, just watch the process evolve. or...just keep whining that you haven't get the winning team you expect,a nd see if it accomplishes anything for you other than giving stomach ulcers and headaches.

Avatar
#30 YakSaitl
December 19 2013, 02:03PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

Connor McDavid is waiting...

Avatar
#31 Zarny
December 19 2013, 03:21PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
14
cheers
Drowning in Oil wrote:

WHAT REALLY PISSES ME OFF! What really pisses me off is how this coach and Mac T are going to get a free pass all in the name of continuity. We had a coach in Kruger, and it was Mac T's decision to replace him, so if the new coach is not better than the previous, then why should they not be held accountable. The media and management will try to defend Mac T and Eakins as hard as they can but the truth is...... WHO GIVES A RATS ASS ABOUT CONTINUITY. I WANT TO SEE WINS. YOU CAN SIT BACK AND WAIT FOR A COACH TO START WINNING AND YOU MAY WAIT FOREVER BUT GOD DAMN IT, YOU BETTER DO SOMETHING. HOW MANY YEARS WILL WE HAVE TO WAIT AND GIVE EAKINS AND MAC T THE BENEFIT OF DOUBT??? What a load of BS!!!

Good grief.

Krueger coached this team to 24th place; not 4th.

Fans seem to forget about the 10 game losing streak last year. Krueger's coaching excellence included doing nothing during a 10 game slide.

MacT wasn't even with the franchise last year. He's a GM not God and half the roster needs to be turned over. Are you really daft enough to think that was going to happen by Christmas?

Avatar
#32 michael
December 19 2013, 03:59PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers

The Detroit argument is full of holes. They bought their way out of mediocrity. Pre salary cap they were one of the highest spending teams.

The Nordiques did not have the same option as the Red Wings or the Pens. They were saddled with a 66 cent dollar and a tax structure that in Quebec that ultimately led to their sale to Denver.

The Canadians and Leafs even at 66cents on the dollar were well heeled due to TV and advertising revenue.

The Oilers sold their best players because they could not compete in the pre salary cap era. After PUCK sold Wayne the teams dissolution was assured. It was inevitable. Once the players saw the money that was being thrown at marginal players the Oilers were done. They could not compete financially because PUCK was insolvent and bleeding red from his other interests. Its was only a matter of time before he sold the team. The EIG could not compete also. Thus the flaccid 90's occurred.

My point is that the QNordiques could have been very successful if they were able to compete on the same playing field as teams are required to do today. thus the push for a team back in QC. 7 teams in Canada produce near 54% of the HRR. The QN traded players partly due to money. And partly due to inability to sign Lindro's.

The Oilers need better compete from their current players.I hear all the naysayers. I agree we need to get bigger on the back end. We need to find a couple of bigger/heavier forwards. But what I do not hear is which of the other 29 other GM's is going to provide us with the players we need without gutting the current core of our team.

No pain. No gain. I hate losing. But what I hate more is the thought that trading an Eberle for a coke machine is going to bring us a CUP.

A naïve view.

We need to let the guy steering the ship some time to get this Titanic out of the way of the iceberg. MacT has been on the job less than 10 months. Its Christmas. Feel free to pray for a miracle. Feel free to rant. Chant Fire Klowe. Scream foul. Give up your season tickets. Boycott the games. Do whatever. It will not get any less painful.

Remember this when you look at those Nordique stats. They no longer have a team to complain about in the dead of December. We do. Just sayin.

Avatar
#33 mlcselli
December 19 2013, 04:37PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

Dubnyk is between the pipes. Gagner is on the second line. Eakins is the class clown. Battle of the rookie coaches and we tank even further. Looking for some hope. #Unfrickenreal

Avatar
#34 Serious Gord
December 19 2013, 10:14PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
17
cheers

Stauffer is hinting that the team is not 100% healthy.

That's what you should expect when a small recalcitrant team plays several heavyweights in succession.

And now the meet arguably the fiercest team in the league - the St. Louis blues.

What are the odds that by Sunday the team will be 0-6?

Avatar
#35 Arius Mumin
December 19 2013, 11:40PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers

Gagner for Briere.

Avatar
#37 Craig1981
December 19 2013, 01:26PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
15
cheers
Puck_In_Throat wrote:

I actually like this comparison, but lets think about what the Nordiques (Avs) then did to win a cup:

1) traded the 1st overall pick in the 1991 draft (Lindros) for a package that included Peter Forsberg, Ron Hextall, cash, Chris Simon and Mike Ricci (key role players in their cup runs), and first rounds picks in 93 and 94.

2) traded their 1st overall pick from 1989 (Sundin) to Toronto for Wendel Clark, whom they then flipped the next year in a three way deal to get Claude Lemieux (a proven veteran and a key part of their cup runs, who already had a cup)

3) traded Thibault (from the #1 pick from Philly in the Lindros deal) rucinsky and adrei kovalenko for Patrick Roy, a proven, Conn-Smythe and two time cup-winning goalie. Almost as important, that trade gained the Avs Montreal's captain Mike Keane.

The players acquired by the Nordiques/Avs for all of their young studs had one thing in common: multiple Stanley cup finals appearances.

If the Oilers have any hopes of being like the Avs, they need to recognize a few key pieces (Hall and Nuge IMO) and then maximize the value of other assets such as former 1st overall picks in exchange for proven veteran players.

The most glaring of all of these is the Sundin for Clark-turned Lemieux trade. Not exactly a win in the stats column, but Claude Lemieux had 3 cups already and a history of playoff success. ** Edit** I looked up Lemieux and he in fact had just won the Conn Smythe trophy with the NJD. He also won the cup 4 times. Sundin finished with 600 more points than Lemieux, but 70 less playoff points and 0 cups. Nobody talks about how great Marcel Dionne was because the point of the NHL isn't to score goals, its to win Stanley Cups.

MacT has (hopefully) started on this route by acquiring Ference. But draft picks are no sure thing, and good GMs frequently trade players with "upside" for proven veterans.

If a trade like that is out there do it in a heart beat. The problem though is Lindros was "the next great one" He was thought of the same way Ovi, Crosby, McDavid where/are. None of the picks THE Oil have are on that level (no disrespect)

Avatar
#38 Zarny
December 19 2013, 01:50PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
13
cheers

@AdamfromOilfans

You seem to have missed the infamous "six rings" presser.

Team management did tell the players they are expected to win with what they have.

When half your roster are borderline NHL players at best 11-22-3 is what that gets you.

Avatar
#39 **
December 19 2013, 01:56PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers

Gagner not only back in, but back in the second line after his poor play and that specially horrific game. I have no more good expectations for this team. It is painfully obvious there is something extremely rotten in the vowels of the Oilers organization.

Arcobello is hurt, ok,make Smyth center the fourth line and bump Gordon tot he second and Lander tot he third. The season is lost. There should be an effort to demand accountability and changing the losing culture.

Avatar
#40 watkinator
December 19 2013, 02:54PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

Excellent perspective piece, Jason. Appreciate the cool-headed thinking around here.

Avatar
#41 Quinn the Eskimo
December 19 2013, 11:53PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers
michael wrote:

The Detroit argument is full of holes. They bought their way out of mediocrity. Pre salary cap they were one of the highest spending teams.

The Nordiques did not have the same option as the Red Wings or the Pens. They were saddled with a 66 cent dollar and a tax structure that in Quebec that ultimately led to their sale to Denver.

The Canadians and Leafs even at 66cents on the dollar were well heeled due to TV and advertising revenue.

The Oilers sold their best players because they could not compete in the pre salary cap era. After PUCK sold Wayne the teams dissolution was assured. It was inevitable. Once the players saw the money that was being thrown at marginal players the Oilers were done. They could not compete financially because PUCK was insolvent and bleeding red from his other interests. Its was only a matter of time before he sold the team. The EIG could not compete also. Thus the flaccid 90's occurred.

My point is that the QNordiques could have been very successful if they were able to compete on the same playing field as teams are required to do today. thus the push for a team back in QC. 7 teams in Canada produce near 54% of the HRR. The QN traded players partly due to money. And partly due to inability to sign Lindro's.

The Oilers need better compete from their current players.I hear all the naysayers. I agree we need to get bigger on the back end. We need to find a couple of bigger/heavier forwards. But what I do not hear is which of the other 29 other GM's is going to provide us with the players we need without gutting the current core of our team.

No pain. No gain. I hate losing. But what I hate more is the thought that trading an Eberle for a coke machine is going to bring us a CUP.

A naïve view.

We need to let the guy steering the ship some time to get this Titanic out of the way of the iceberg. MacT has been on the job less than 10 months. Its Christmas. Feel free to pray for a miracle. Feel free to rant. Chant Fire Klowe. Scream foul. Give up your season tickets. Boycott the games. Do whatever. It will not get any less painful.

Remember this when you look at those Nordique stats. They no longer have a team to complain about in the dead of December. We do. Just sayin.

Best post in days. (Not that I read 'em all). Best post because I agree with it, and because Michael is Bang on: the Oilers play stupid and don't fight hard enough. Ask David Perron if size matters. Props, mike.

Avatar
#42 Harlie
December 19 2013, 01:02PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Burnaby Toby!

Avatar
#43 MacT
December 19 2013, 01:04PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
20
cheers
Jason Gregor wrote:

The Nords won 12, 16 and 20 games...loser point didn't impact wins. The Nords were brutal.

The Oilers have had 23, 27 and 17 regulation wins the past three years. Even in a lockout shortened season they won more games than the Nords did during those two horrific seasons.

Even the Oilers weren't as bad as those teams.

~ Thanks, I'll use those stats during my next Presser. ~

Avatar
#44 Spaceman Spiff
December 19 2013, 01:08PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
26
cheers

Sakic’s a great example, as are the others you’ve noted, Jason. I’ve long thought that the Oilers, while attempting to emulate the Chicago or Pittsburgh model, ought to really also pay attention to what happened with the Nords/Avs.

But, at the same time, there’s one more player you missed talking about: Steve Yzerman.

The narrative we all hear now is that the Red Wings were great from the minute after Mike Ilitch bought the team and/or Yzerman got there, but really, it was only since 1990 or 1991 that the team really began to take off. By that time, Stevie Y had been with the Wings for eight years (since his draft year in 1983) and I can always remember the talk about him was that he hadn’t really led the Wings to much of anything.

Yes, they only missed the playoffs twice in the 1980s after Yzerman’s arrival, but it was also a time when you could finish 15 games below .500 and make the playoffs. From Yzerman’s first season in 1983-84 to 1991-92 (Lidstrom’s rookie year), the Wings only had one season above .500 (1987-88), finished last overall once (1985-86) and circled the drain towards it twice (1984-85 and 1989-90). And all while playing in the league’s weakest division (the Norris Division).

When they did make the playoffs, the Wings were generally easy fodder in the playoffs for a division rival … or the Oilers, who beat them twice. In fact, I’d argue that, for a few years, the Wings were known for some of their off-ice problem-children – everyone from Bob Probert to Joey Kocur to Petr Klima.

Yzerman was the captain right in the middle of all of that and, even though he was putting up amazing scoring numbers, few were anointing him as any type of a great leader. In fact, he was starting to look like Marcel Dionne – one of the greatest regular-season players of all time.

But, a couple of great late-1980s drafts later, along with some great trades and waiver finds and the Wings turned a major corner by 1991. Along with it came a commitment to two-way play from Yzerman and the rest is history.

As Oiler fans, we have to hope that history does the same thing for our great players as it did for guys like Sakic and Yzerman.

Avatar
#45 Spiel
December 19 2013, 02:17PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

Notice that the Nords/Avs two best players Sakic and Forsberg were not their first overall picks. 1st overall does not necessarily mean best player.

In fact, I don't think any of their first overall picks were on the team when they won the Stanley Cup as the Colorado Avalanche.

Maybe Hall is more Mats Sundin or Owen Nolan than Joe Sakic. First overall picks who played in a Canadian market and never went past the conference finals...

Avatar
#46 Gordoil
December 19 2013, 02:32PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

I was always of the opinion that 2 wrongs do not make a right!!! But if we traded Dubnyk & Gagner for absolutely nothing in return, could that make it right? Goals against would be better.

Avatar
#47 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 19 2013, 02:49PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers

I think the fan-fretting over the kids is worth putting in context like this…

i.e., most of the time teams acquire top 5 picks because they are terrible and it takes a lot more than fresh-faced top 5 picks to drag a terrible team to the promised land.

BUT… the concern isn't exactly without merit.

Sakic did his serious damage as an AV. I doubt Nords fans take much solace in that.

Nash is a NYR. Columbus got to see many of his prime years go to waste and now won't get to see him do anything as their guy.

The Isles showed some signs in the lockout but can't buy wins in the useless East and Tavares, stud that he is, isn't winning right now when he's in his age of flourishing.

These are, basically, the concerns.

That a team will finally be ready to contend but only after missing out on prime years from their kids (and prime contract bargaining position).

Or, that a player will finally be on a team ready to contend, but a team other than yours.

Avatar
#48 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 19 2013, 04:51PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Kr55 wrote:

Any past team comparable that kept a guy like Lowe in a high up position during the entire streak of futility that we can look at to give us hope? I can't think of one... It's very possible the Oilers will break the 10 season playoff drought record with Lowe at the helm the entire time and beyond.

It's pretty hard to make comparisons like this given the weird structure of Oilers mgt.

Avatar
#49 Serious Gord
December 19 2013, 08:01PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
D wrote:

Serious Gord,

Enjoy reading your comments and also hearing them on the radio. My hope is that Dubnyk is starting because the Oil are trying to showcase him to move him to . . . anywhere.

If that's not the case, then Dubnyk playing tonight (or any night where Bryz or BTO are available) is mismanagement to the core.

Thanks for the praise - I'm flattered.

Avatar
#50 PutzStew
December 19 2013, 08:18PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Hey Jason.

Why don't you mention the turn of round of the Nordiques and Penguins also coincide with the arrival of Pierre Page and Craig Fitzpatrick as GM's?

So here a few question for you Jason.

Let say Katz's plane crashes and leaves you the Oilers in his Will, Do you keep the current management as it is? What do you change, if you do decide to make changes? Why don't you make changes if you don't think changes need to be made.

Honestly I think you are to scare of the wrath of Klowe and Co so you blow off my questions.

Comments are closed for this article.