THE BOYS UNDER THE BUS

Robin Brownlee
December 22 2013 12:06PM

The latest lump in the truckload of coal the Edmonton Oilers have been shoveling under the Christmas trees of their fans for eight seasons came in Saturday's 6-0 drubbing at the hands of the St. Louis Blues. What an ugly, ugly scene it was.

On a utterly forgettable night for a fallen franchise, scenes from Hockey Night in Canada's telecast showed sections of empty seats with five minutes to play with fans long gone to the parking lot, president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe fidgeting with his cellphone and, finally, an Oiler jersey laying on the ice, tossed there by one of the paying customers.

With HNIC's After Hours segment waiting for Taylor Hall to emerge from a dressing room that remained closed for 10 minutes after the game, the CBC panel filled with a post-mortem on the Oilers, losers of six straight games and dead in the water at 11-24-3.

In the room, goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, who was supposed to have been a sideshow but instead finds himself having joined one, talked about how the Oilers deserved to be booed. Jordan Eberle talked about being sick of what's happening here. Coach Dallas Eakins, less than half a full season into his tenure behind the bench, said much the same thing.

The blah, blah, blah we've heard before, but that shot of the Oiler jersey cast on the ice like so much trash sticks with me. I've never seen that before, and I've seen a lot in the old rink on Gretzky Drive.

THE WORST OF TIMES?

With the venom being spewed by rightfully frustrated fans and the empty seats I'm seeing, despite more than 300 straight official sell-outs at Rexall Place in the books, this is clearly the worst of times since the oh-so-forgettable early 1990s. Back then, owner Peter Pocklington was selling off what was left of the five-time Stanley Cup champions and letting the rest of the team die on the vine. Lots of crowds under 10,000 back then.

I'm not sure which era was worse – the 1992-93 team captained by current GM Craig MacTavish went 26-50-8 for 60 points – but arguing that is setting the bar woefully low. What I do know is nobody with a functioning brain expected much from the raft of mediocre players on that roster. The expectations now are different, and should be, with the likes of Hall, Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on this edition of the team – any one of them would have been the best player on that pitiful 1992-93 team.

Edmonton's management and its spinners have been selling hope for four seasons since the tear-it-down rebuild "officially" began. Fans, obviously loyal to a fault, have been buying in, filling the rink, purchasing souvenirs, parking and over-priced beer. All to watch a team that's won just 45 of its last 123 home games.

Now, paid for or not, empty seats. And no, as team president Patrick LaForge suggested with a straight face, it's not "brutal weather." Now, that jersey thrown on the ice. Was it deposited there by an over-served patron in a fit of drunken defiance? A long-time season ticket holder sick of what they've seen? Both? No matter, it's trouble.

OVER TO YOU, BOSS

I don't know if we'll ever see attendance sink to the levels of the ugly 1990s – I doubt it – but unless something changes drastically, and in a hurry, we're going to see more empty seats, more jerseys on the ice and, worse, more of the kind of indifference Pocklington cultivated as owner.

Drastic change means starting at the top of hockey operations. That means the dirty deed falls to owner Daryl Katz, who has a management group and coaching and scouting staffs filled with old friends and old Oilers. With his initial investment in the team already showing a tidy profit, according to the latest values published for NHL teams, will Katz be so inclined? Not today or tomorrow – it makes no sense – but this off-season?

I can see an argument for MacTavish and Eakins getting more time to do their jobs. I see no such case for managers, coaches or scouts who have been collecting pay cheques for all or most of this eight-year stretch of futility and frustration. The names we know, and Lowe is the obvious starting point.

Will Katz make those calls this off-season? Will he tell his friends that it's time for them to move along? Will he shake their hands and wish them well? If Katz, for whatever reason, isn't inclined to do that – in a city and for a fan base that's committed to building him a new downtown arena – in the name of finally delivering on the hope he's been selling, what's the message?

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#101 John Kirsch
December 22 2013, 04:01PM
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@nick

Weber won't help this group we need more than 1 player (I don't care if it were Lemiuex or Gretzky), besides there is no way he would come to Edmonton.

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#102 bnr
December 22 2013, 04:04PM
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As someone who lives out of province.. Can someone tell me why the city of Edmonton would put taxpayers money into a private business (essentially what a sports organization is)? I've never heard of that occurring elsewhere.

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#103 Serious Gord
December 22 2013, 04:07PM
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Ryan2` wrote:

Why should Eakins and MacT be given more time?

MacT was "in training" last year and given a head start for a GM by being able to assess the players for an entire season before being handed the keys to the car. Sure, he won the Perron trade right now, but did it make the team any better? Could he have used the MPS trading chip (he was a decent commodity at the time) + another prospect and pick for a true #2 D-Man? That would have helped the team way more than another small, skilled forward (btw, how much "edge" has he played with the past couple of games against bigger teams?).

His other signature moves were two bad contracts: 1) overpaying in term and price for a smallish, end of career d-man from the area, and, even worse, 2) severely overpaying for a small, defensively clueless after 7 years, average skating at best, centerman who MacT considers a cornerstone piece moving forward. Both contracts are dead money, IMHO, as they take up significant cap space that could be put to better use elsewhere and basically make the players untradeable for 3 years.

Craig also had a questionable eye for talent as a coach (remember his MacFavorites like Petersen, Thoreson and Pouliot?) and dumped on players that the team sure could use now that he did not like such as Greene, Brodziak, Penner, etc.

As far as Eakins, being at the game yesterday you could see the difference between a well coached team with structure and commitment to team play (Hitchcock trademark since back in the day with Midget AAA in Sherwood Park) vs. a team with no structure, no commitment to team play and a fragile confidence. The Oilers were much more organized under Kruger last year with an even weaker roster (as bad as their d is this year, at least all of them can turn both ways unlike Ryan Whitney last season). As weak as Ralph was from an NHL strategy point of view, Eakins is even worse. Right now the Oilers as still playing Junior or AHL level hockey out there, and it shows against any close to or playoff team.

IMHO, Eakins' first mistake was playing two career AHLers he liked, Acton and Hamilton, when they were clearly not up to NHL level play. At work, how does it look to the rest of the team when the manager's kid/nephew/niece/etc. steps right into a job above their level without earning it? How much does that hurt a manager's credibility as well as team morale? That sent the wrong message to the team from the get go and the players still do not buy in.

It is not only Eakins' that needs to go, though. When you watch the next Oilers game take a look at how often their D just rims the puck instead of making a tape-to-tape pass to start a breakout vs. the opponents D. Back in the Charlie Huddy era, the Oilers' d-men would actually start a breakout with a quick and accurate pass. Since Steve Smith has been in charge the d-men have started to just rim the puck, which either keeps the forwards penned in or results in a turnover at the red line which is just dumped back in. My son's Novice team is better at making tape-to-tape passes under duress to start a breakout than the Oilers defence is. The reason - we coach them that making a good first pass is key to a break out.

Excellent analysis.

Conspicuously absent from the mainstream sports journo discussion is specific critiques of the head coach. It seems that the "we have changed coaches four times already, we can't do it again" mantra has silenced this important discussion.

I personally was opposed to it from the very beginning for all the reasons outlined before. Particularly galling is that Eakins has been signed for four frickin years. Is Babcock even signed for that long?

Loyalty and far too generous terms seems to be a fatal hallmark of MacT's.

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#104 Serious Gord
December 22 2013, 04:10PM
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bnr wrote:

As someone who lives out of province.. Can someone tell me why the city of Edmonton would put taxpayers money into a private business (essentially what a sports organization is)? I've never heard of that occurring elsewhere.

It happens in almost every circumstance. I can't think of one in all of North America where that wasn't the case. (Cowboy's stadium perhaps?)

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#105 Batfink
December 22 2013, 04:11PM
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ALLCAPSRAGE wrote:

How about a boycott of the national anthem? Nobody sits in their seats until the puck is dropped. It would send a message if there was nobody in the stands for even a short period of time at the start of the game as opposed to the end.

Showing disrespect to the national anthem is not the way to go about this. It isn't Canada's or 'Merica's fault the Oil is 5hite.

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#106 Butters
December 22 2013, 04:12PM
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bnr wrote:

As someone who lives out of province.. Can someone tell me why the city of Edmonton would put taxpayers money into a private business (essentially what a sports organization is)? I've never heard of that occurring elsewhere.

They are doing exactly the same thing in Detroit. They are selling a DT arena and financing it almost exactly the same way they did here.

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#107 gilaubin
December 22 2013, 04:12PM
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@nick

I have to agree. Ever since Kevin Lowe has been here it has been a struggle. Katz trying to surround himself with his old Oiler buddies from the glory days is not the answer. AS much as he would love to win a cup with them. it will never happen. Lots of hockey people have been available but LOwe is carful to hire people he can control. Brian Burke, Ken Hitchkock, Sutter. I have been a die hard fan for 40 years and it is sad to see this happen. I use to be really affected by the oilers winning and losing but now I am not even watching most of the games. I can't imagine how fans that are spending 100.00 to go watch live. I am in total disgust with the effort by the players but these guys got to this level because they could play. Our managent and coaching is destroying them. Please Mr Katz run this team the way you know you should. Start with getting rid of Kevin Lowe. You wouldn't put up with this if this was Rexall and you surely didn't build success by hiring friends

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#108 Rick Stroppel
December 22 2013, 04:16PM
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MERRY CHRISTMAS!

1. What a wonderful Christmas present for Ralph Krueger and his wife! She was in the room when McTavish fired Ralph by skype.

2. Obvious now why Bryzgalov hasn't put any paint on his mask.

3. Katz thinks Edmonton needs the Oilers. We don't need the Oilers. We need NHL hockey. When Katz went to Seattle, city counsel should have sent a delegation to Phoenix, Tampa and Carolina. Wouldn't it be great to see a REAL NHL team playing in the new arena!

4. Yakupov is an "Alexander Daigle" style bust. Minus 26: numbers do not lie. I would try to trade him to Toronto or Ottawa for a package that includes their first round pick this year. Maybe they saw him light it up in the OHL and they can be sucked in to thinking he will make it in the NHL. Unlike Daigle, Yakupov will not suffer the indignity of dragging his sorry butt around the league as a 3-4 line player. He will eventually high-tail it back to the KHL where his selfish, one way style of play will be much appreciated.

5. Lowe, McTavish and Eakins are going nowhere this year. Those three and Katz really like each other, because they are all basically the same person. They don't need any help, they have got it all figured out. As long as these four arrogant jackasses are in charge, this franchise is going nowhere.

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#109 YAKCITY64
December 22 2013, 04:26PM
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Brownlee AMAZING article. But truly do any of you intelligent fans think that any player would purposely put himself in this situation with this current management group. I really truly think that if you change things from top to bottom and have a real plan of where you are going Then and Only then will free agents even think of coming to edmonton.

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#110 Butters
December 22 2013, 04:30PM
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Rick Stroppel wrote:

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

1. What a wonderful Christmas present for Ralph Krueger and his wife! She was in the room when McTavish fired Ralph by skype.

2. Obvious now why Bryzgalov hasn't put any paint on his mask.

3. Katz thinks Edmonton needs the Oilers. We don't need the Oilers. We need NHL hockey. When Katz went to Seattle, city counsel should have sent a delegation to Phoenix, Tampa and Carolina. Wouldn't it be great to see a REAL NHL team playing in the new arena!

4. Yakupov is an "Alexander Daigle" style bust. Minus 26: numbers do not lie. I would try to trade him to Toronto or Ottawa for a package that includes their first round pick this year. Maybe they saw him light it up in the OHL and they can be sucked in to thinking he will make it in the NHL. Unlike Daigle, Yakupov will not suffer the indignity of dragging his sorry butt around the league as a 3-4 line player. He will eventually high-tail it back to the KHL where his selfish, one way style of play will be much appreciated.

5. Lowe, McTavish and Eakins are going nowhere this year. Those three and Katz really like each other, because they are all basically the same person. They don't need any help, they have got it all figured out. As long as these four arrogant jackasses are in charge, this franchise is going nowhere.

I CWD this one but only because of point 4. I think Yak is struggling with the "system" as are a lot of other players. I think the system has to suit the players, not the other way around.

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#111 Quicksilver ballet
December 22 2013, 04:30PM
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No more cyber swirlies for me. It was nick who let Beetlejuice (Shea Weber) out of his cage.

I was only an innocent accomplice.

Okay, okay, okay

Yak, Klefbom, Belov and the Oilers first this coming June?

Down, you savages!

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#112 Jay
December 22 2013, 04:31PM
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John Kirsch wrote:

Weber won't help this group we need more than 1 player (I don't care if it were Lemiuex or Gretzky), besides there is no way he would come to Edmonton.

Agree, but you gotta start somewhere.

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#113 JJ
December 22 2013, 04:31PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

It happens in almost every circumstance. I can't think of one in all of North America where that wasn't the case. (Cowboy's stadium perhaps?)

Really? I had no idea.. And no idea why that would be economically feasible. I don't care if my city has the Chicago Blackhawks caliber team in it, their playpen should not be funded by taxpayers who don't want to put their money into a private franchise.. It's a shame cities across NA are forced into that.

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#114 David S
December 22 2013, 04:34PM
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nullterm wrote:

I'd chip in for a full page reprint of this article. Make it happen Nation!

If Wanye and the boys at ON HQ were on it, they'd run a crowdsourcing post here at the site. Collect enough donations for a pull pager in the Sun and Journal, with the rest going to charity. Sign it on behalf of the fan base here and put the ON logo at the bottom of the page.

Book it. This would be one of the greatest marketing stunts in the history of the city.

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#115 RexHolez
December 22 2013, 04:54PM
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Ad in the journal? Dream big boys.... How much would it cost to get google to change there logo to an oilers logo with the letters rearranged to spell ILOSER?

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#116 Gk1980
December 22 2013, 05:00PM
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OilFanInVan wrote:

Full Page ad in the Edmonton Journal will run about $17k. Do you guys really have the balls to make something like that happen?? I suspect you'd get about $500 bucks...

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/about-edmonton-journal/advertising/pdf/mrc_rate_card_august_2013.pdf

Anyone here have $17000 hanging around, you could be the person who makes a real difference!

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#117 Spydyr
December 22 2013, 05:03PM
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Gk1980 wrote:

Anyone here have $17000 hanging around, you could be the person who makes a real difference!

Don't fool yourself.The only difference you would make would be to your bank account.Do you honestly think Katz cares what we think?

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#118 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 22 2013, 05:05PM
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Take the 17k donate it to charity (Stollery is always nice) sign it from "The Group to Fire Kevin Lowe." let media know ahead of time

just sayin

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#119 kale
December 22 2013, 05:08PM
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I wonder if Rexall will start selling disposable jersys at home games

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#120 Gk1980
December 22 2013, 05:08PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Don't fool yourself.The only difference you would make would be to your bank account.Do you honestly think Katz cares what we think?

Nope but the overall effect over the media and the city could be worth it. It would make some media outlets, look what Katz one page apology did.

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#121 6 ring circus
December 22 2013, 05:12PM
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My two season seats will be empty tomorrow vs the Jet's.I had enough quite some time ago and this is the final straw for me.I will no longer support this team as long as K Lowe is their and if Katz does not make significant changes. I'm done being taken for granted,if any one wants a old time oilers jersey to throw on the ice let me know .I will gladly donate one ,it's even a Lowe jersey!!!!

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#122 Spydyr
December 22 2013, 05:16PM
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6 ring circus wrote:

My two season seats will be empty tomorrow vs the Jet's.I had enough quite some time ago and this is the final straw for me.I will no longer support this team as long as K Lowe is their and if Katz does not make significant changes. I'm done being taken for granted,if any one wants a old time oilers jersey to throw on the ice let me know .I will gladly donate one ,it's even a Lowe jersey!!!!

Burn it in effigy at the Gretzky statue.

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#123 Johnnydapunk
December 22 2013, 05:19PM
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bnr wrote:

As someone who lives out of province.. Can someone tell me why the city of Edmonton would put taxpayers money into a private business (essentially what a sports organization is)? I've never heard of that occurring elsewhere.

Really? It's actually quite common, there have been a few arenas that have been privately financed, but not many. Bear in mind that discounted land for building the arena, tax exceptions and other subsidies after a building is built is also public funding, albeit in a not so direct way.

Just looking at the Canadian arenas, seems like only Rogers Arena in Vancouver and Le Centre Bell were the only 100% privately funded arenas which do not receive anything from public funds. Every other arena in Canada has either been partially funded through taxes or levies, purchased land at below market rates (ACC) or receive both tax breaks, subsidies and breaks regarding construction costs(MTS Centre)

This is a nice website for Arena info, everything else can be found with a google search.

NHL Arena Info

There are also seemingly quite a few American arenas that have received public funds in some way or another, that info is also super easy to look up.

Edit- hit the full stop (period) key instead of space bar thing. Giant hands + iPad keyboard = stupid amounts of little punctual corrections :-p

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#124 RexHolez
December 22 2013, 05:23PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Burn it in effigy at the Gretzky statue.

haha a jersey burning bonfire rally

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#125 Zamboni Driver
December 22 2013, 05:24PM
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6 ring circus wrote:

My two season seats will be empty tomorrow vs the Jet's.I had enough quite some time ago and this is the final straw for me.I will no longer support this team as long as K Lowe is their and if Katz does not make significant changes. I'm done being taken for granted,if any one wants a old time oilers jersey to throw on the ice let me know .I will gladly donate one ,it's even a Lowe jersey!!!!

Don't just burn 'em.

Contact Kids Up Front Edmonton - send a kid to the game (it might even be what they want for Christmas...poor kids).

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#126 6 ring circus
December 22 2013, 05:35PM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

Don't just burn 'em.

Contact Kids Up Front Edmonton - send a kid to the game (it might even be what they want for Christmas...poor kids).

Spyder was referring to burning the jersey ,not the tickets ,I already donate to various charities,I want the seats to be empty, maybe other ticket holders can join me in a boycott and having a half empty Rexall ,will hopefully get ownership to listen.

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#127 Spydyr
December 22 2013, 05:37PM
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6 ring circus wrote:

Spyder was referring to burning the jersey ,not the tickets ,I already donate to various charities,I want the seats to be empty, maybe other ticket holders can join me in a boycott and having a half empty Rexall ,will hopefully get ownership to listen.

Well at least Lowe would get "fired"If you burnt the jersey.

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#128 Johnnydapunk
December 22 2013, 05:37PM
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JJ wrote:

Really? I had no idea.. And no idea why that would be economically feasible. I don't care if my city has the Chicago Blackhawks caliber team in it, their playpen should not be funded by taxpayers who don't want to put their money into a private franchise.. It's a shame cities across NA are forced into that.

I'm not completely sure the exact reasoning behind it but in some cases there is a run off effect of having a pro sports team in a city, the attractiveness and perceived value of a city usually goes up when there is a high level (not necessarily high caliber) sports team, which makes it easier to attract private business to invest.

Sometimes it is that a Premier or Mayor wants a "legacy" and things like pretty arenas and whatnot allow that. It can allow a city to justify building other infrastructure related projects ( revitalising downtown, another LRT station for example with Edmonton ) which may be needed but stuff like major sports teams assist in that again in a roundabout way.

There is also things like job creation (construction, maintenance and the daily workings of a pro sports franchise) which means more taxes for the government.

There is also something that is a bit silly but does make a difference, is that people like seeing things being built and new shiny buildings, it's perceived as progress and growth and that makes people feel good.

I'm sure there are many other reasons, and maybe mine are completely off, but I just see it like this as it is quite common in many cities.

Apologies for the rambling, it's a boring cold Sunday today :-)

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#129 CMG30
December 22 2013, 05:42PM
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I guess I'm at the point of indifference. I didn't bother to watch the game last night and I didn't even check the score till a friend texted it to me around noon.

As for the management of the team, I'm split. Kevin Lowe? I don't see how it matters if he stays or goes. If someone can show me that he's got his fingers all over the terrible drafting and trading that has happened over the past 5 or so years then fine send him packing. But I just don't see that. I see his position as more of a proxy for the owner. Katz might be a hockey fan but he's not an expert, therefor he has someone he trusts to fulfill the owners duties for him. If that is the case then firing him won't make one iota of difference in the on-ice product. Of course it will appease a growing segment of the fan base but how long till they select a new target? Edmonton has a history of running viable/good players out of town. At least with the venom mostly directed his way it deflects some of the attention away from the guys on the ice deserved or not. Is that a good enough reason to keep him around? Probably not but when/if he goes I don't expect the team to get better anytime soon.

MacT: I'm on his side, at least for the next year or so then I'll re-evaluate. The only one of his moves thus far that I take issue with is the Smid trade. I didn't get it then and I really, really don't get it now. Actually now that I think about it, I also don't get how Acton stayed for so long especially once Arcobello was spending time in the pressbox. But I can't complain too much about that one because at the time I wanted the Oil to be heavier and gritter.

As for his major moves over the summer (Perron, Ferrence and Gordon) I still give them the thumbs up. I know people will argue about Ferrence but we all need to realize that he's not a legit #1 defenceman even though he's being asked to play those minutes. Once a true #1 arrives and Ferrence slides down the depth chart he'll be fine. If MacT actually expected him to be more that a temp #1 then I retract my support of that move.

Perhaps the only other thing to look at with MacT is the moves he failed to make. He couldn't get the big gritty skilled center (though he came close with Clarkson but I'm actually glad he struck out there) or the big number one defenseman which I don't believe for a second wasn't for lack of trying. Finally, he wasn't sold on Dubnyk and went after an alternative but again hit a wall.

Taken as a whole, this tells me that MacT sees the holes and is trying to fix them. Combine that with the successes he did have and I'm willing to give him a little more rope.

I guess the final point I would make is that if Katz does clean house with management then whoever does come in will inevitability begin a new 3-5yr rebuild in their image. I don't think anybody really wants to wait that long. So I'm hoping against all evidence that this is finally rock bottom and the long climb out can begin.

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#130 Mac962
December 22 2013, 05:44PM
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I hate to say it - but think about the national coverage it would get that we the fans demand change- if you wore a jersey from Any other team to the next few games until change happens.

No Oilers jerseys, in support of the guy who literally tossed 200 bucks on the ice.

You think this wouldnt get someones attention. Even better, a flames or Canucks Jersey. Wake up Katz you recluse fat wallet Bastard.

Sell the team to someone who knows hockey and who's lips are not connected to someone from the past- that really in the grand scheme of things, never really earned his rings, but rather rode the coat tails of those who did.

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#131 ColourMeImpressed
December 22 2013, 05:45PM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

Don't just burn 'em.

Contact Kids Up Front Edmonton - send a kid to the game (it might even be what they want for Christmas...poor kids).

Why would I help create another generation of miserable addicts?

Why would I want any kids - never mind my kids - to be raised to venerate a bunch of 20-something punks who are getting paid millions to play hockey, badly?

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#132 Bryzarro World
December 22 2013, 05:47PM
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KHR wrote:

Not that there is anything wrong with that . . .

How do you trash Seinfeld reference?

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#133 MMAX
December 22 2013, 05:48PM
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Can't wait to hear what Stauffer has to say on his show.

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#134 tom
December 22 2013, 05:50PM
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Gk1980 wrote:

Anyone here have $17000 hanging around, you could be the person who makes a real difference!

I'm in. I will donate. Please post details.

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#135 Sammy27
December 22 2013, 05:54PM
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So Ryan Jones is knocked unconscious, His level of play now matches many of the other players.

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#136 Butters
December 22 2013, 05:56PM
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MMAX wrote:

Can't wait to hear what Stauffer has to say on his show.

He will say' "We get that you are pissed off, and you should be." Then he will try and stir up indignation about Taylor Hall not making the Olympic Team.

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#137 tileguy
December 22 2013, 06:03PM
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Robfra50 wrote:

We'd have to get Shea Weber on Whyte Avenue completely hammered with some of Edmonton's finest women for him to consider Edmonton.

Yes, at 25 below during a blizzard.

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#138 RexHolez
December 22 2013, 06:03PM
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Butters wrote:

He will say' "We get that you are pissed off, and you should be." Then he will try and stir up indignation about Taylor Hall not making the Olympic Team.

Followed by a call for patience and summary full of excuses as to how we got to where we are

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#139 Butters
December 22 2013, 06:04PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Followed by a call for patience and summary full of excuses as to how we got to where we are

And that he called for the rebuild in 2006

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#140 ColourMeImpressed
December 22 2013, 06:10PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Followed by a call for patience and summary full of excuses as to how we got to where we are

Don't forget the inevitable comparison to the Sharks, Hawks, Ducks, and Blues, where he demands viewers answer him "did you really expect the Oilers to compete with such a strong West?!" ... while ignoring the Flames, Jets, Stars, and Preds.

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#141 phongluu888@gmail.com
December 22 2013, 06:13PM
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When I am at the oilers game and the jumbo tron tells you make some noise!!! Make some noise for what are you kidding me!!! It should say fan's pull Out the brown paper bag put it over your head!!!

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#142 6 ring circus
December 22 2013, 06:17PM
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MMAX wrote:

Can't wait to hear what Stauffer has to say on his show.

Stauffer is part of the Oilers propaganda machine,to me he's the same as Laforge,they both are trying to preach patience and that the rebuild is working,except the fans have had enough of there bull sh*t and can see right through them,they would've made good snake oil salesman.

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#143 ColourMeImpressed
December 22 2013, 06:17PM
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phongluu888@gmail.com wrote:

When I am at the oilers game and the jumbo tron tells you make some noise!!! Make some noise for what are you kidding me!!! It should say fan's pull Out the brown paper bag put it over your head!!!

"Fire Lowe" is a noise.

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#144 Arius Mumin
December 22 2013, 06:18PM
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David S wrote:

If Wanye and the boys at ON HQ were on it, they'd run a crowdsourcing post here at the site. Collect enough donations for a pull pager in the Sun and Journal, with the rest going to charity. Sign it on behalf of the fan base here and put the ON logo at the bottom of the page.

Book it. This would be one of the greatest marketing stunts in the history of the city.

count me in for $250

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#145 China town man
December 22 2013, 06:21PM
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By the way Mr katz while you are counting your money may you think of the fans who works hard to pay for your unproductive product!!!

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#146 hall the time
December 22 2013, 06:22PM
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He Who Knows wrote:

Shea Weber would restructure his contract not to come here at this present time. The organization is very shady since Katz took over. Sheldon Souray should be given a standing ovation next time he comes into town. He was fed up beyond belief before he went public. Call him a primadonna or whatever but he said it was never the city or fans. It was management.

Look up Sheldon Soury's first press conference as a Hershey Bear on youtube he cant stop taking about coming to a great organization, then he's asked about the Oilers organization.

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#147 Copper
December 22 2013, 06:26PM
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bnr wrote:

As someone who lives out of province.. Can someone tell me why the city of Edmonton would put taxpayers money into a private business (essentially what a sports organization is)? I've never heard of that occurring elsewhere.

Redevelopment has already started. Increase tax revenues will far outlast and contribution city has made. Investment is of revenue generated by the development related to Arena. This is done often for many sports inane cities inane countries.

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#148 Copper
December 22 2013, 06:37PM
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Robin, what would firing Lowe accomplish? How does that effect the product on the ice? It's my experience change is made in employee and middle management (coach) long before senior management.

It is my opinion that the arrogance that both McT and Eakins showed early has hurt product and perceptions.

McT should have under promised and over delivered. Instead, he promised "significant change" and "bold" moves.

Eakins is an AHL coach who thought he was better than everyone else. Instead of revolutionizing NHL hockey, he should have learned his team and adjusted his system(s) to his team. Not adjusting his team to unproven systems.

Rookie mistakes by both. Both will need to learn and improve as much as the players do.

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#149 Ray
December 22 2013, 06:37PM
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Robin.....I happen to be one of the first people on this blog warning about crowd attendance dropping and I can remember a lot of bloggers not believing me. This is ALL about management and scouting! Except for our first round draft picks, who of any significance has made an impression...no Andrew Shaw's on our team! I've said before and I'll say it again...Katz has got to man-up and dump everyone . I agree maybe Eakins and Mact could stay in order to see how they perform with better drafts and upper mgmt, but that's it!!!! I'm starting to think that if it wasn't for Katz's dad....young Darryl would not have amounted to anything....I believe he was a privileged young man and his dad made the decisions for him....

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#150 Webposter
December 22 2013, 06:37PM
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Nepotism doesn't mean things can't be done or done well, but it does mean that chances are good it won't be done as well as in a meritocracy.

If the Oilers pay a competence penalty for indulging old buddies, it doesn't matter if no one else is paying the same penalty, but most other teams aren't, and the competence gap hurts the Oilers.

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