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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#151 Gerald R. Ford
December 22 2013, 06:37PM
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MMAX wrote:

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

No need to wait:

12:05 - 12:15: Tree planting

12:15 - 12:30: Glory days of South Side Athletic Club

12:30 - 12:35: Royal Pizza interlude

12:35 - 12:50: Obscure Golden Bears anecdote

12:50 - 1:00: Ruth's Chris interlude

1:05 - 1:20: Gratuitous name-dropping session / I know inside stuff that you guys aren't important enough to know, so, zip it, because everything's going right on schedule.

1:20 - 1:40: This is actually only, for all intents and purposes, like, Day 4 of the rebuild, not YEAR 7, so everyone be patient, etc.

1:40 - 1:50: All six goals the Blues got were screwjobs by the refs.

1:50 - 1:58: Ungrateful little people who throw jerseys on the ice are traitors to Katz nation, and should be pointed out to security.

1:59 - 2:00: Merry Christmas, I'm off to count my fat stacks.

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#152 ColourMeImpressed
December 22 2013, 06:38PM
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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.

That's easy.

Because this is a podunk little town with aspirations of glory, and the media is easy to control with limited advertising (as opposed to a big city, with multiple big-revenue advertisers like the Oilers). With an easily-controlled media, comes an easily-manipulated public (like most of the morons reading here), which results in easy votes.

So yeah, advertising will result in people voting their own money away to build an arena for a multi-billionaire so his team of multi-millionaire losers can lose in.

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#153 Copper
December 22 2013, 06:41PM
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Mac962 wrote:

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.

Put up your $billions.

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#154 Shane
December 22 2013, 06:48PM
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There is only one way that Kevin Lowe will leave edmonton and that is if the fans start "fire Lowe" chants and he resigns from his position.

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#155 2004Z06
December 22 2013, 06:51PM
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Renegade wrote:

I like how some people keep saying play bad for the first over all pick.... hmm... how has that worked out for us so far?

Only franchise in professional sports whose fan base celebrates failure and futility and sells out 300 straight games. When's the next first overall pick draft party?

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#156 ColourMeImpressed
December 22 2013, 06:55PM
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Shane wrote:

There is only one way that Kevin Lowe will leave edmonton and that is if the fans start "fire Lowe" chants and he resigns from his position.

Worked for "Fire Wilson" in Toronto.

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#157 Rod from Viking
December 22 2013, 06:56PM
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MMAX wrote:

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

"Oiler's Now" has turned into a brutal propaganda machine for Katz and Co, I used to have a lot of time for Bob when he had his "Inside Sports" he continually called out Oiler Management and coaching, and then he used his show to convince his trusting listeners that Katz was good, EIG was no longer needed. I don't expect him to lose his job but quit finding new ways to justify this mess. He never say's my tweets or texts on air since I asked him if Taylor Hall's mom was on a tree planting crew, he has no sense of ha ha.

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#158 K_Mart
December 22 2013, 07:00PM
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Gerald R. Ford wrote:

No need to wait:

12:05 - 12:15: Tree planting

12:15 - 12:30: Glory days of South Side Athletic Club

12:30 - 12:35: Royal Pizza interlude

12:35 - 12:50: Obscure Golden Bears anecdote

12:50 - 1:00: Ruth's Chris interlude

1:05 - 1:20: Gratuitous name-dropping session / I know inside stuff that you guys aren't important enough to know, so, zip it, because everything's going right on schedule.

1:20 - 1:40: This is actually only, for all intents and purposes, like, Day 4 of the rebuild, not YEAR 7, so everyone be patient, etc.

1:40 - 1:50: All six goals the Blues got were screwjobs by the refs.

1:50 - 1:58: Ungrateful little people who throw jerseys on the ice are traitors to Katz nation, and should be pointed out to security.

1:59 - 2:00: Merry Christmas, I'm off to count my fat stacks.

So accurate it's scary.

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#159 TonyT
December 22 2013, 07:00PM
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@JJ

If I understand you correctly, you believe all public use buildings should be privately funded by their owners? Who gets what money aside, a public arena of that magnitude is used for other public events besides hockey. But that's not really the topic of this particular blog.

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#160 ColourMeImpressed
December 22 2013, 07:02PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

"Oiler's Now" has turned into a brutal propaganda machine for Katz and Co, I used to have a lot of time for Bob when he had his "Inside Sports" he continually called out Oiler Management and coaching, and then he used his show to convince his trusting listeners that Katz was good, EIG was no longer needed. I don't expect him to lose his job but quit finding new ways to justify this mess. He never say's my tweets or texts on air since I asked him if Taylor Hall's mom was on a tree planting crew, he has no sense of ha ha.

What kind of naifs are you guys?

You guys seriously thought CHED, the station awarded Oilers broadcast rights, would ever criticize the Oilers?

Their job is to fluff the team's dick, that's all. 1260 doesn't have the rights, so it criticizes a bit more, but not so much as to lose any chance at the next bid.

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#161 ColourMeImpressed
December 22 2013, 07:02PM
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TonyT wrote:

If I understand you correctly, you believe all public use buildings should be privately funded by their owners? Who gets what money aside, a public arena of that magnitude is used for other public events besides hockey. But that's not really the topic of this particular blog.

How is either arena a public building?

Please, tell me.

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#162 TonyT
December 22 2013, 07:08PM
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I believe the time for fantasy trades and advanced stats are over. Jersey throwing incident was a game changer. I'll be at the game tomorrow, if the Oilers fail to show up, "Fire Lowe" or whomever chants should the chant for the rest of the game. At the end of the game jerseys should be on the ice. We were promised "bold" not an evaluation of assets. I'm not saying to lose a trade but it's clear this team (as it is currently constructed) will never progress to a level where we are getting "full value". Till that day comes, I expect organized rebellion.

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#163 TonyT
December 22 2013, 07:16PM
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ColourMeImpressed wrote:

How is either arena a public building?

Please, tell me.

"Public" as defined by dictionary.com

adjective 1. of, pertaining to, or affecting a population or a community as a whole. 2. done, made, acting, etc., for the community as a whole. 3. open to all persons. 4. of, pertaining to, or being in the service of a community or nation, especially as a government officer. 5. maintained at the public expense and under public control. 6. generally known: The fact became public. 7. familiar to the public; prominent. 8. open to the view of all. 9. pertaining or devoted to the welfare or well-being of the community. 10. of or pertaining to all humankind.

"Building" as defined by dictionary.com

noun 1. a relatively permanent enclosed construction over a plot of land, having a roof and usually windows and often more than one level, used for any of a wide variety of activities, as living, entertaining, or manufacturing. 2. anything built or constructed. 3. the act, business, or practice of constructing houses, office buildings, etc.

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#164 outdoorzguy
December 22 2013, 07:18PM
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@TonyT

"If the Oilers fail to show up". They haven't showed up for a dozen years. Why keep the door open just a bit? If your serious, you should react regardless of how the team plays tomorrow night. I hate it when fans and media just keep that glimmer of hope in the back of their mind. So if the Oilers win tomorrow...things are good again? The relationship is back on? At this point you're either in or out. Make up your mind. Vote your conscience!!!

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#165 ColourMeImpressed
December 22 2013, 07:23PM
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TonyT wrote:

"Public" as defined by dictionary.com

adjective 1. of, pertaining to, or affecting a population or a community as a whole. 2. done, made, acting, etc., for the community as a whole. 3. open to all persons. 4. of, pertaining to, or being in the service of a community or nation, especially as a government officer. 5. maintained at the public expense and under public control. 6. generally known: The fact became public. 7. familiar to the public; prominent. 8. open to the view of all. 9. pertaining or devoted to the welfare or well-being of the community. 10. of or pertaining to all humankind.

"Building" as defined by dictionary.com

noun 1. a relatively permanent enclosed construction over a plot of land, having a roof and usually windows and often more than one level, used for any of a wide variety of activities, as living, entertaining, or manufacturing. 2. anything built or constructed. 3. the act, business, or practice of constructing houses, office buildings, etc.

OK, then by every definition you listed, neither arena is public.

1. Does not affect the community as a whole. 2. Not done for the community as a whole. 3. Not open to all persons. 4. Not pertaining to or in service of the community or nation. 5. Perhaps maintained at public expense, but not under public control. 6. Maybe. 7. Certainly, but not the correct definition. 8. Definitely not. 9. Certainly not. 10. Absolutely not.

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#166 Mac962
December 22 2013, 07:24PM
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Copper wrote:

Put up your $billions.

And why would i do that ? Billions ? Opinionated aren't you. You seem to have missed the point on several comments based on your replies.

Billions - i am on it.

Time for bed for you, keep those dreams alive.

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#167 Butters
December 22 2013, 07:26PM
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ColourMeImpressed wrote:

How is either arena a public building?

Please, tell me.

A better way to put it might be that the arena is a public good. Tt will pretty much instantly gentrify a pretty rundown area of town.

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#168 ColourMeImpressed
December 22 2013, 07:29PM
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Butters wrote:

A better way to put it might be that the arena is a public good. Tt will pretty much instantly gentrify a pretty rundown area of town.

At what cost?

Maybe you haven't lived here long enough, but I was around for the building of West Ed and then the City Centre Mall.

First, West Ed was supposed to gentrify the West, which it did. Then City Centre was supposed to re-gentrify downtown, which it didn't, because West Edmonton Mall was sucking all the commercial resources of the city.

So what is the arena going to kill? Southgate? Alberta Avenue? West Ed? North Common? South Common?

You can build the arena, but it's not like you're adding the 200,000 people necessary to maintain it as a commercial district.

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#169 Robin Brownlee
December 22 2013, 07:31PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

"Oiler's Now" has turned into a brutal propaganda machine for Katz and Co, I used to have a lot of time for Bob when he had his "Inside Sports" he continually called out Oiler Management and coaching, and then he used his show to convince his trusting listeners that Katz was good, EIG was no longer needed. I don't expect him to lose his job but quit finding new ways to justify this mess. He never say's my tweets or texts on air since I asked him if Taylor Hall's mom was on a tree planting crew, he has no sense of ha ha.

None of you will want to hear this, especially given the state of frustration fans are in now, but fixating on Bob Stauffer and the people at 630 CHED is misplacing your anger. They are not the problem.

As far as NHL rightsholders go, 630 CHED is actually far more critical of the team they cover than most stations. You don't have to believe me, but I'm telling you it's so -- and I'm doing it as somebody who is on the air twice a week on a competing station.

If you want to say some of the edge -- even a lot of it -- has been taken off Bob's criticism of the team since he signed on with them, that's fair ball. He is an employee of the team and he can't go after the Oilers, be it management, coaches or the organization in general, as he would if he was still in his old gig at TEAM 1260. You cannot do it in your workplace and he cannot do it in his.

The problem is way higher up the food chain. Going after Stauffer and the radio crew solves nothing. They are doing their jobs.

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#170 ColourMeImpressed
December 22 2013, 07:33PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

None of you will want to hear this, especially given the state of frustration fans are in now, but fixating on Bob Stauffer and the people at 630 CHED is misplacing your anger. They are not the problem.

As far as NHL rightsholders go, 630 CHED is actually far more critical of the team they cover than most stations. You don't have to believe me, but I'm telling you it's so -- and I'm doing it as somebody who is on the air twice a week on a competing station.

If you want to say some of the edge -- even a lot of it -- has been taken off Bob's criticism of the team since he signed on with them, that's fair ball. He is an employee of the team and he can't go after the Oilers, be it management, coaches or the organization in general, as he would if he was still in his old gig at TEAM 1260. You cannot do it in your workplace and he cannot do it in his.

The problem is way higher up the food chain. Going after Stauffer and the radio crew solves nothing. They are doing their jobs.

Now if you could only explain Lowetide and his fetish for the "smartest man in the room" competition between Craig and Dallas, I'd write you a check for a hundred bucks.

Because if either are the smartest man in the room, then the Oilers are in some serious trouble.

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#171 Herbie Versmells
December 22 2013, 07:42PM
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Gerald R. Ford wrote:

No need to wait:

12:05 - 12:15: Tree planting

12:15 - 12:30: Glory days of South Side Athletic Club

12:30 - 12:35: Royal Pizza interlude

12:35 - 12:50: Obscure Golden Bears anecdote

12:50 - 1:00: Ruth's Chris interlude

1:05 - 1:20: Gratuitous name-dropping session / I know inside stuff that you guys aren't important enough to know, so, zip it, because everything's going right on schedule.

1:20 - 1:40: This is actually only, for all intents and purposes, like, Day 4 of the rebuild, not YEAR 7, so everyone be patient, etc.

1:40 - 1:50: All six goals the Blues got were screwjobs by the refs.

1:50 - 1:58: Ungrateful little people who throw jerseys on the ice are traitors to Katz nation, and should be pointed out to security.

1:59 - 2:00: Merry Christmas, I'm off to count my fat stacks.

Love this

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#172 Lofty
December 22 2013, 07:47PM
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Oil have played two more games than Buffalo. If the sabers win both games (which against the flames and Ottawa, is possible,) they'll be tied for last. That's where the current day oilers are most comfortable... DFL

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#173 ColourMeImpressed
December 22 2013, 07:50PM
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Lofty wrote:

Oil have played two more games than Buffalo. If the sabers win both games (which against the flames and Ottawa, is possible,) they'll be tied for last. That's where the current day oilers are most comfortable... DFL

Let's be honest, though.

The odds of the Sabers winning two games in a row compared to the Oilers have to be at least like, 1 to 1.

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#174 Rick Stroppel
December 22 2013, 07:50PM
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@Gerald R. Ford

Every thing you say about Stauffer's show is accurate but I think you missed one. Every show he says "...it SEEMS like every time a team plays back-to-back in Calgary and Edmonton, Calgary gets the second game". A credible journalist would go back and actually look at the schedule over the last 2-3 years to see if there is any FACTUAL support for this idea that "...the NHL is trying to screw us". Saying that something SEEMS wrong is good enough for a blogger, not good enough for someone who is being paid to comment on the game in a professional way. Then again, they say that "sports journalism" is a contradiction in terms, like "jumbo shrimp" and "military intelligence".

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#175 Harlie
December 22 2013, 07:57PM
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Gerald R. Ford wrote:

No need to wait:

12:05 - 12:15: Tree planting

12:15 - 12:30: Glory days of South Side Athletic Club

12:30 - 12:35: Royal Pizza interlude

12:35 - 12:50: Obscure Golden Bears anecdote

12:50 - 1:00: Ruth's Chris interlude

1:05 - 1:20: Gratuitous name-dropping session / I know inside stuff that you guys aren't important enough to know, so, zip it, because everything's going right on schedule.

1:20 - 1:40: This is actually only, for all intents and purposes, like, Day 4 of the rebuild, not YEAR 7, so everyone be patient, etc.

1:40 - 1:50: All six goals the Blues got were screwjobs by the refs.

1:50 - 1:58: Ungrateful little people who throw jerseys on the ice are traitors to Katz nation, and should be pointed out to security.

1:59 - 2:00: Merry Christmas, I'm off to count my fat stacks.

EPIC!!

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#176 Butters
December 22 2013, 08:07PM
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ColourMeImpressed wrote:

At what cost?

Maybe you haven't lived here long enough, but I was around for the building of West Ed and then the City Centre Mall.

First, West Ed was supposed to gentrify the West, which it did. Then City Centre was supposed to re-gentrify downtown, which it didn't, because West Edmonton Mall was sucking all the commercial resources of the city.

So what is the arena going to kill? Southgate? Alberta Avenue? West Ed? North Common? South Common?

You can build the arena, but it's not like you're adding the 200,000 people necessary to maintain it as a commercial district.

Fair comment, but I suppose it would depend a lot upon future population growth. The city is trying to slow down urban sprawl. They want people to work and live as close to downtown as possible. If this approach works is certainly up for debate, but we might bore each other, and others to tears doing it.

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#177 ColourMeImpressed
December 22 2013, 08:10PM
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Butters wrote:

Fair comment, but I suppose it would depend a lot upon future population growth. The city is trying to slow down urban sprawl. They want people to work and live as close to downtown as possible. If this approach works is certainly up for debate, but we might bore each other, and others to tears doing it.

I wish I could believe that jazz about trying to slow down urban sprawl, but you don't acquire half of Leduc County for the purposes of development if you're trying to do that.

I'm sure future population growth will revitalize downtown, but both Oliver and City Centre still need more people to make them attractive.

Let's be honest here - as one Oilers fan to another - the arena is a giant giveaway to Katz. There's no way he'd get the kind of fan support, never mind city financing, in Seattle.

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#178 Path
December 22 2013, 08:12PM
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Gerald R. Ford wrote:

No need to wait:

12:05 - 12:15: Tree planting

12:15 - 12:30: Glory days of South Side Athletic Club

12:30 - 12:35: Royal Pizza interlude

12:35 - 12:50: Obscure Golden Bears anecdote

12:50 - 1:00: Ruth's Chris interlude

1:05 - 1:20: Gratuitous name-dropping session / I know inside stuff that you guys aren't important enough to know, so, zip it, because everything's going right on schedule.

1:20 - 1:40: This is actually only, for all intents and purposes, like, Day 4 of the rebuild, not YEAR 7, so everyone be patient, etc.

1:40 - 1:50: All six goals the Blues got were screwjobs by the refs.

1:50 - 1:58: Ungrateful little people who throw jerseys on the ice are traitors to Katz nation, and should be pointed out to security.

1:59 - 2:00: Merry Christmas, I'm off to count my fat stacks.

Brilliant.

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#179 KenL
December 22 2013, 08:13PM
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Has the picture of the jersey on the ice been tweeted? I hope it's gone viral and the entire Oilers organization, from management to players, finally see how pissed fans are this season.

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#180 Butters
December 22 2013, 08:14PM
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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!!!!

The Oilers will just start employing stand-ins.

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#181 ColourMeImpressed
December 22 2013, 08:17PM
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@KenL

It made the highlights on the TV stations.

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#182 Bryzarro World
December 22 2013, 08:19PM
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Jones has started.... http://www.edmontonsun.com/2013/12/22/jones-oilers-should-wear-it

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#183 Kevin
December 22 2013, 08:33PM
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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 for $250.....get it done !

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#184 OilDieHard
December 22 2013, 08:47PM
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KenL wrote:

Has the picture of the jersey on the ice been tweeted? I hope it's gone viral and the entire Oilers organization, from management to players, finally see how pissed fans are this season.

ya, really! it's about time fans showed their displeasure and I hope most of the players saw it laying there!

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#185 Adam
December 22 2013, 09:05PM
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@ColourMeImpressed

"So what is the arena going to kill?"

You're making an interesting observation but it's void of any economic facts. First of all, Edmonton's population has, and is soaring. 200,000 people (don't know why u picked that number) isn't going to be a stretch within the next 10 years, given the number of emmigrants from across the nation, and even from other countries. Canada is booming (refer to our immigrant numbers or GDP for reassurance).

Secondly, our DT was just inject with millions of dollars in infrastructure, to make way for a new core. Have you seen the buildings going up like corn stalks here? Grant Macewan is expanding with hundreds of millions over the last few years in new buildings, housing, loft and apartment space is DOUBLING year to year in certain areas, and we have a lot more leisure centers, restaurants, and various venues to prove it. This is because of money, capital, and job creation.

Third, larger areas of commerce do not equate to a drain on other areas of commerce. City Center still functions QUITE comfortably, even with the megalithic WEM down the road, and will continue to do so.

If ur against an arena because of the moral implications of a tax-infused, investment risk, i totally got ur back. But the economic data is Wayyyyyyy too juicy to pass up as some sort of bust.

Put it this way: If Edmonton has economic troubles AFTER the arena is built, we have bigger problems because it means something happened to our precious oil industry. Don't forge that this is an investment too, and we get money back. In 50 years, there will be other problems to worry about. In the meantime, don't be such a dinosaur about growth and learn how to research numbers. . . .

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#186 ColourMeImpressed
December 22 2013, 09:16PM
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@Adam

Actually, my argument is full of economic facts.

West Edmonton Mall killed Edmonton's downtown within a matter of 3-5 years (depending on who you ask), and that was at a time when Edmonton was booming. I know this may sound odd to a young guy like you, but Jasper Ave and 104 Ave were thriving streets 35 years ago.

Moreover, not a single downtown arena - not Baltimore, not KC, not OKC, not Milwaukee or Chicago - has restored an area. The only example ever brought up as a counter argument is Denver, and that has mitigating factors (for example, the new arena was built in an area already experiencing gentrification, and Denver had seen its population boom for about 10 years prior.)

I picked 200,000 out of random, but I think it's a fair and educated guess, based on what each area of expansion has required to thrive (West Ed, South Common, North Common.)

Millions of dollars in infrastructure investment is a one-time cash injection. More than that, the arena is not part of the infrastructure of the city. Roads, bridges, water and drainage are infrastructure. However, the most important part is that the cash spent is a one-time event. To maintain that arena requires constant cash expenditure by a willing public. Do you suddenly have more money in your pocket? Are you going to spend significantly more on Christmas in 2015 than you would in 2012, are you going to do more shopping overall, are you going to choose downtown as the area to do it in? The answer to all three is likely no.

I'm against the arena for both moral and economic reasons. The economics aren't there.

I have no doubt - absolutely zero - that downtown will get a boost from the arena. However, I do wonder at whose cost that boost will come from. Will West Ed whither and die the way downtown did in the late 70s? Will Southgate suffer? Or, most likely in my estimation, will Alberta Avenue take a hit? We just spent tens of millions renovating Alberta Avenue. That renovation is already showing signs of not achieving its goals. If the new arena kills Northlands, what then?

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#187 ColourMeImpressed
December 22 2013, 09:18PM
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@Adam

FYI, my taxes have essentially doubled since 2000. We've seen tax hikes of 5-8% every year, and they compound.

Just the idea of paying taxes for Richie Rich's arena so that his multi-millionaire losers can build a team to play terrible hockey chokes me up.

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#188 Former ND Hound
December 22 2013, 09:24PM
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@ColourMeImpressed

"So what is the arena going to kill?"

You're making an interesting observation but it's void of any economic facts. First of all, Edmonton's population has, and is soaring. 200,000 people (don't know why u picked that number) isn't going to be a stretch within the next 10 years, given the number of emmigrants from across the nation, and even from other countries. Canada is booming (refer to our immigrant numbers or GDP for reassurance).

Secondly, our DT was just inject with millions of dollars in infrastructure, to make way for a new core. Have you seen the buildings going up like corn stalks here? Grant Macewan is expanding with hundreds of millions over the last few years in new buildings, housing, loft and apartment space is DOUBLING year to year in certain areas, and we have a lot more leisure centers, restaurants, and various venues to prove it. This is because of money, capital, and job creation.

Third, larger areas of commerce do not equate to a drain on other areas of commerce. City Center still functions QUITE comfortably, even with the megalithic WEM down the road, and will continue to do so.

If ur against an arena because of the moral implications of a tax-infused, investment risk, i totally got ur back. But the economic data is Wayyyyyyy too juicy to pass up as some sort of bust.

Put it this way: If Edmonton has economic troubles AFTER the arena is built, we have bigger problems because it means something happened to our precious oil industry. Don't forge that this is an investment too, and we get money back. In 50 years, there will be other problems to worry about. In the meantime, don't be such a dinosaur about growth and learn how to research numbers. . . .

Katz troll...get rid of Gagner ...

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#189 TonyT
December 22 2013, 09:33PM
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outdoorzguy wrote:

"If the Oilers fail to show up". They haven't showed up for a dozen years. Why keep the door open just a bit? If your serious, you should react regardless of how the team plays tomorrow night. I hate it when fans and media just keep that glimmer of hope in the back of their mind. So if the Oilers win tomorrow...things are good again? The relationship is back on? At this point you're either in or out. Make up your mind. Vote your conscience!!!

Why is your complaint with me? I'm a fan of the team, I'm not throwing $200 on to the ice because I enjoy it. I love this team, I'm a mid 80's birthday, and every year I've literally missed only a handful of games for the past thirty seasons. It pains me to see this team and have no hope for the future. In as much as a win tomorrow won't signal change for me, my plight is with management and the construction of this team. Why would I discourage the players by throwing my jersey on the ice if (in spite of management) they put forth an honest effort and are rewarded with a win? Are you suggesting that even if they Oilers were to have an 8-2 lead in the third, I should throw my jersey on the ice? It's not flip-flopping but there is something to be said about timing.

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#190 ColourMeImpressed
December 22 2013, 09:41PM
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@Former ND Hound

Look, I really feel as if your arguments - like those of almost any other poster on *Oilers Nation* are tainted by your emotional attachment to the Oilers and the knowledge that, deep down inside, they can't compete with the likes of Toronto, NY, Montreal, Chicago, Philadelphia or LA without public subsidy of some kind or another. If they could, they'd build the arena themselves, right?

So I really don't want to get into this argument too much, but here's what I will say:

1. I was here when West Edmonton Mall was built, and I was here 5 years later when downtown suddenly went from an area in modest decline to a complete slum. Shops (especially the department stores) closed, bars shut down, and so on. Now, this was part of a general trend of urban flight, but Edmonton was neither particularly urban to begin with, nor were Edmontonians fleeing the Invasion of the Blacks - Canada isn't America, and Edmonton isn't Detroit.

2. Edmonton already has economic troubles. Our debt has gone from significant to worrisome under Mandel, despite tax hikes every year.

3. If the arena is an investment, a property that can make money for the city, then Daryl Katz would have built it himself and held onto all those options around the arena. He didn't. He knows the arena won't be profitable. Instead, he merely held onto the options around the arena. He's almost literally skimming the cream from the top while getting us to milk the cow in the first place.

Anyway, I'm done on this topic. The arena deal is done and there's nothing I can do about it, except move out of town - something I am seriously considering after seeing my tax bill go from ~$1300 to ~$3000 in 13 years, with no improvement in service.

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#191 mouthbreather
December 22 2013, 09:42PM
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Butters wrote:

The Oilers will just start employing stand-ins.

Can I purchase your tickets? My 7 yr old is dying to go.

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#192 TonyT
December 22 2013, 09:52PM
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@ColourMeImpressed

Several of the definitions of public are appropriate, however you and I are obviously invested in our own opinions to be swayed by syntax and grammatical arguments, so let's just agree to disagree. The point is Katz is getting a good deal, I won't deny that, however he is also putting $100 million (however you slice it) more than I am into a new public building which the majority of this community will hopefully enjoy (if not for hockey, then concerts, disney on ice, or Tony Robbins). I want a new arena and while economic development is nice, it reminds a lot of how I convinced my dad to buy a playstation (DVD player everyone can use), I just wanted it. Call me greedy, but I just want a new arena. I've been privileged to watch the Oilers at the Staples Center, Honda Center, American Airlines Arena, Jobing.com Arena, and Bridgestone Arena. Are the areas around them great, asides from Nashville? no, but I also don't have to miss half a period, just to piss and grab a beer. Regardless, it's a non-issue as the arena is coming.

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#193 Dave
December 22 2013, 09:54PM
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May not help if they were to fire Eakins but it sure would not hurt.

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#194 Freewheeling Freddie
December 22 2013, 10:17PM
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What I would like to see at the games. Lowe must go! Lowe must go! And paperbags on everybodys heads. Taylor Hall was great on after hours. How come lowe or MacT didn't go on. You can only hide for so long.EIG could you please please by the team back

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#195 Risto Siltanen
December 22 2013, 10:29PM
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Trade Hemsky for Girardi - both are UFA'. C'mon MacT.

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#196 Bobby
December 22 2013, 10:30PM
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Here is the Fire Kevin Lowe petition at https://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/daryl-katz-fire-kevin-lowe. Feel free to sign on, if you agree. Regards, Bobby

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#197 OilDieHard
December 22 2013, 10:32PM
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Bobby?....Robert Nilsson? :-P

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#198 mouthbreather
December 22 2013, 10:40PM
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Risto Siltanen wrote:

Trade Hemsky for Girardi - both are UFA'. C'mon MacT.

isn't that Beaver Fever?

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#199 Jay
December 22 2013, 11:01PM
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@Risto Siltanen

Hemsky for Smid?

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#200 Serious Gord
December 22 2013, 11:05PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

None of you will want to hear this, especially given the state of frustration fans are in now, but fixating on Bob Stauffer and the people at 630 CHED is misplacing your anger. They are not the problem.

As far as NHL rightsholders go, 630 CHED is actually far more critical of the team they cover than most stations. You don't have to believe me, but I'm telling you it's so -- and I'm doing it as somebody who is on the air twice a week on a competing station.

If you want to say some of the edge -- even a lot of it -- has been taken off Bob's criticism of the team since he signed on with them, that's fair ball. He is an employee of the team and he can't go after the Oilers, be it management, coaches or the organization in general, as he would if he was still in his old gig at TEAM 1260. You cannot do it in your workplace and he cannot do it in his.

The problem is way higher up the food chain. Going after Stauffer and the radio crew solves nothing. They are doing their jobs.

I largely concur. Bob and others at ched have some constraints and they are certainly more vocal and likely to be critical than the fan 960 in cgy which is the flames rights holder. 960 was the last place to be critical of iginla or the sutters.

But on the fan 590 the leafs rights holder there are several commentators/show hosts who have been exceptionally critical of the teams management - bob McCown being the number one in that regard. But he is definitely the exception as he is very much his own man - set apart from the rest of the Rogers family - much as don cherry is from the CBC.

But back to stauffer - I very much believe that stauffer provides a bit of a conduit between the fans and management - that he relays the emotions and opinions of the fans to them and that sometimes they act. Specifically I think that is what happened after the disastrous six rings press conference. The reaction was so swift and brutal on stauffs show that management realized that Lowe had to apologize right away.

Unfortunately we did not get an real apology (go listen to it again to verify what I'm saying) but Klowe did manage to tamp down the fire for a while at least.

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